Production has officially begun on Andy Serkis' The Jungle Book
After years of toiling in Peter Jackson’s world, Andy Serkis is finally ready to step out on his own. The actor, who revolutionized the world of motion-capture, has just begun production on THE JUNGLE BOOK (previously titled JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS) which will feature plenty of motion-capture itself.
THE JUNGLE BOOK will be the feature film directorial debut of Andy Serkis and will see him blending live action with motion-capture to create a truly amazing world. Serkis has managed to secure a rather impressive cast which features Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Christian Bale as Bagheera, Peter Mullan as Akela, Tom Hollander as Tabaque, Naomie Harris as Nishi, Eddie Marsan as Vihaan, Jack Reynor as Mowgli’s Brother Wolf, and Rohan Chand as Mowgli himself. Naturally Andy Serkis will be lending his significant talents to the film in the role of Baloo.
Here's a synopsis of the film:
The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli, raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.
This won’t be the only Jungle Book adaptation hitting theaters as Jon Favreau is heading up another version over at Disney. That film also boasts a great cast which includes Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johannson, and Bill Murray as the voice of Baloo.
The two films were originally announced around the same time and the race was soon on as to which one would hit theaters first. Both films ended up getting pushed back from their original release dates but it looks like we’ll be seeing Favreau’s version first; that film, also titled THE JUNGLE BOOK, will arrive in theaters April 15, 2016. Serkis’ take on the story isn’t slated to hit theaters until October 6, 2017.
Both films will utilize large amounts of CG to bring the world and animals to life but the similarities should end there as Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book is said to be more in line with the original animated film from 1967, complete with songs, while Andy Serkis’ film will draw more from the Rudyard Kipling story and not shy away from the darker aspects present in the novel.
I'm definitely looking more forward to Serkis' film at the moment. I've watched the animated film and Favreau's live-action/CG version of it isn't something I need to see. Serkis is hopefully offering us something different and given his background in motion-capture, the performances should be out of this world.
Which Jungle Book film are you looking forward to most?