‘Jungle Book: Origins’ Gets 2016 Release Date

By August 1, 2014

We’ve written a lot about Disney’s upcoming adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” lately because the casting has been ramping up. Jon Favreau is directing that one, but that isn’t the only Jungle Book film headed to theaters soon. Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was once in talks to helm a new take on the story for Warner Bros. – since competing projects between studios are apparently all the rage these days – but now Dawn of the Planet of the Apes star and performance capture pioneer Andy Serkis is going to be directing, and the project has a new name – Jungle Book: Origins.

Is it about Kipling and how he wrote the story, making it literally about the origins of “The Jungle Book”? The script is written by Callie Kloves, the daughter of Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves (and the elder Kloves is producing), but a plotline hasn’t been officially released yet, so we’re just left to wonder exactly whose origins we’re going to be witnessing when this thing hits theaters. And oh, about that: Deadline says the movie actually has a release date now, with WB carving out space on October 21st, 2016. That’s almost exactly one year after Favreau’s Jungle Book hits theaters, which may end up being confusing for some audiences. Favreau’s film will be a combination of live action and animation with Mowgli appearing as the only actor physically on screen, and one has to assume with Serkis’ performance capture background that we’ll be seeing something similar when it comes to his take on the story.

This will be Serkis’ directorial debut, but he actually has some experience already: he’s directed the second unit for all three of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films. I’ll be interested to see what kind of style Serkis brings to this project when he’s not forced to fit into another director’s vision. What do you think? Looking forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve? Or is this too much Jungle Book for you in a short time?

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.