In comparison to Disney’s animated and live-action films, Andy Serkis’ upcoming Jungle Book movie is going to be a more faithful adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s iconic novel of the same name. Last year, Jon Favreau remade Disney’s animated Jungle Book film into live-action, and its overwhelming critical and commercial success prompted the Mouse House to not only agree to produce a sequel but also give Favreau free rein to develop a live-action remake of The Lion King as well.
Although Disney’s adaptation is by far the most famous film version of Kipling’s novel, the company doesn’t own the rights to the story, which is why Warner Bros. is allowed to move forward with their own adaptation, directed by Serkis. Serkis’ adaptation currently holds an October 2018 release date, though we haven’t heard anything about the project in quite some time, which isn’t surprising recognizing that the actor-director has had his hands full with not only Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes but also reprising his Avengers: Age of Ultron role as Ulysses Klaw in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther.
In an interview with Variety, Warner Bros. Pictures chief Toby Emmerich provided several details regarding the studio’s future, including plans related to the DC Extended Universe as well as Serkis’ upcoming Jungle Book movie. In regard to the latter, Emmerich said that he’s curious to see how audiences will react to the film, presumably after having seen Disney’s take on the story, especially considering that Serkis’ film will be a closer adaptation of the original novel:
“I’m very curious how the world embraces it. It is based on the same source material that the Disney movie is based on, but man, is it a different interpretation. If Rudyard Kipling saw this movie, he would more readily recognize it as an adaptation of his book.”
It’s no secret that Disney’s animated movies have always deviated from their source materials so that they could provide audiences with a more family-friendly story. Favreau’s Jungle Book was no exception, and that’s why audiences may find it refreshing to see what Serkis’ faithful take on the story will be like.
Aside from being a more honest adaptation of Kipling’s novel, though, one of the most intriguing aspects of Serkis’ film is that it will utilize motion-capture to bring the animals to life on the big screen. We saw how well-done the CG was in Favreau’s adaptation, but considering that the film is being helmed by Andy Serkis — who has been heralded as the father of motion-capture in filmmaking, due to his years playing Gollum in the Middle-Earth franchise as well as Caesar in the rebooted Planet of the Apes trilogy — people may certainly expect a level of quality that exceeds Disney’s remake.
So far, we know that Serkis’ Jungle Book movie is going to be darker and scarier than previous versions of the story, and that the actor-director has enlisted the help of Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón to help improve the upcoming film (imaginably aiding Serkis with mo-cap). Considering that San Diego Comic-Con is just around the corner, perhaps we’ll soon get some more concrete information regarding the project or even the first look at one of the main characters.