Remaking their animated classics as live action movies has become a franchise in itself for Disney following the successes of Maleficent and Cinderella. While those films had fairly moderate budgets, this one looks to be aiming to be a visual effects spectacle, recreating the iconic imagery from the original 1967 film for the 21st Century.
Iron Man director Jon Favreau has assembled a stellar cast for his take on the Kipling literary classic with Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Christopher Walken as King Louie and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli.
This isn’t the only Jungle Book movie currently in development with motion capture master Andy Serkis currently working on Jungle Book: Origins for Warner Bros for release in 2017. That film has a primarily British cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, Naomie Harris, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullen. The name of that one implies they are attempting to build a franchise, and most likely it will be a darker take than the Disney version. Whether people will want to pay to see the same story told twice remains to be seen but Disney may benefit from getting in first.
The Jungle Book arrives in cinemas on 15 April 2016