Andy Serkis, Not Ron Howard, to Open 'Jungle Book' for Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. was hoping Babel director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu would be at the helm of their adaptation of The Jungle Book towards the end of last year, but when that plan fell through, it seemed like Ron Howard would inherit the project when he entered talks to direct last month. Now THR reports it will be Lord of the Rings and Rise of the Planet of the Apes supporting actor Andy Serkis who will direct the film. Though Serkis was supposed to make his directorial debut with an adaptation of Animal Farm, it sounds like The Jungle Book will fill that role, following his work as a second unit director on The Hobbit.
And if you're thinking that Serkis directing the second unit on The Hobbit doesn't necessarily mean he can take on a big studio film like this as the primary director, it was the motion-capture actor who was responsible for the impressive barrel action sequence on the river in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Apparently Warner Bros. is looking at a darker take on the film, staying more loyal to the book which is much more grounded than Disney adaptations have been before it, though the latter studio is still moving full steam ahead with their new live-action take from Jon Favreau. In fact, Disney just cast Idris Elba as the tiger villain Shere Khan, so they're still ahead on this one.
But with Serkis at the helm Warner Bros. is now on track to stay competitive with Disney's simultaneously developing adaptation, and his experience with special effects in front of and behind the camera for Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Adventures of Tintin makes him the perfect choice to take on this film that will also utilize a lot of visual effects and motion-capture performances to bring some of the animals to life. There's a chance Serkis might even take a role himself. While we don't need two adaptations of The Jungle Book at the same time, they each sound interesting in their own way. We'll have to wait and see which one wins out.
Reader Feedback - 3 Comments
Oh so the Warner Bros Jungle Book film is now going to bomb at the office? Great. Seriously really Andy Serkis, sorry Disney has the upper edge in this battle. Can't take anything that has do with Serkis seriously. Am just seeing puffs of smoke coming from WB HQ, what a brilliant idea *Exhales* *Spaced Out*.
Ryan Thomas Hardy on Mar 20, 2014
I have been reading your comments for days one negative after negative after negative and that's fine and dandy every person has there opinion and you may just be a common troll looking to stir up trouble and cause attention upon yourself, either way I'm not here to bash your opinion or anything I'm just simply stating that Andy Serkis has great experience on and off the camera so all evidence really points to him having great potential as a Director I would of preferred another movie for his first film but I'm sure he will bring this story justice and bring the animals to life. But that's just my all around personal opinion I hope you have a good one and please feel free to comment onward if you so desire.
Nathan Williams on Mar 21, 2014
RTH is an idiot. Serkis is talented. I am excited to see what he can do!
DAVIDPD on Mar 21, 2014
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