We’d nearly forgotten about this summer’s news that Disney had set a screenwriter for a new version of Rudyard Kipling’s classic “The Jungle Book,” simply because it seemed just all shades of unnecessary, but the project is still moving right along and it could soon have a high profile director to helm it.
Deadline Hollywood reports that Jon Favreau is currently in negotiations to direct the film, which is reportedly a “priority project” for the studio. Screenwriter Justin Marks, who was picked to write the new script back in July, is expected to turn in a new draft soon. Whatever the studio has so far seen of Marks’ work must be good enough to get them moving on director planning and a rumored desire to start filming next year.
Favreau has a history with Disney – he was long set to helm their The Magic Kingdom (a major event film that has been pushed so far on the back burner that it’s actually in someone else’s kitchen at this point) – so it’s nice to see them potentially getting back into business with each other. It’s also nice to see Favreau getting back into big business in general after a rocky few years – after the scrapping of both Magic Kingdom and his version of Jersey Boys, along with the bust that was Cowboys & Aliens, he recently returned to his indie roots with next year’s Chef. (Interestingly enough, Chef is about a former high profile chef getting back into the game via food truck.)
The director himself seems excited about the possibility, telling the outlet, “I can’t say that much, but there is an interesting take that could be very cool, and the hope is to relaunch a family brand with certain mythic elements…It is my first real family film since Elf, and there are action elements and visual effects that I feel like my experience on the Iron Man films are going to be useful.” Sounds like a solid marriage.
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