Ron Howard takes over directing duties on WB's The Jungle Book

After Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu dropped out of Warner Bros' live action take on THE JUNGLE BOOK, the film has been looking for someone to step behind the camera. The person they selected is none other than Ron Howard. Howard is an interesting selection if only because it seemed his plate was full with his IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, the recently announced drug movie MENA, and his long gestating adaptation of Stephen King's THE DARK TOWER. But, apparently Howard has found a window to helm the Rudyard Kipling story.

THE JUNGLE BOOK's screenplay was penned by Callie Kloves, daughter of HARRY POTTER franchise screenwriter Steve Kloves. The elder Kloves is also producing THE JUNGLE BOOK. The plot will be close to the source novel.

Set in the jungles of India, the story centers on Mowgli, an orphaned boy raised by wolves who befriends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther as he spars with the ferocious tiger Shere Khan.

Disney is working on their own live action take on THE JUNGLE BOOK which is being directed by Jon Favreau. Favreau and Howard have both directed family friendly films, but Howard's last attempt was the maligned HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. Both films will compete to be the first in theaters, the storylines are so basic, the adaptations could go either way. I would expect the Disney version to mimic their classic animated take, but we have no clue what will make the WB version unique.

Neither film has a release date at this time, but expect them likely sometime in 2015.



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