It’s starting to look like Disney Studios and Warner Bros. are creating an exciting rivalry outside of their superhero properties. Both studios are actively developing their versions for a Jungle Book movie. The announcement of the directors alone made this face off interesting. Disney Studios has Jon Faverau directing their live action version titled The Jungle Book, while Warner Bros. is rolling the dice with Andy Serkis making his directorial debut for Jungle Book: Origins, which he intends on using a mix of live action, CG animation and motion capture. While Faverau may have the experience in directing, I remain very excited in seeing what Serkis can do after his work with motion capture throughout his career.
As far as castings for each film, it has mainly been Disney making all their moves public. Bringing major talents to the project like Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Lupita Nyong’o (Wolf Mother), Bill Murray (Baloo), Christopher Walken (King Louie) and Scarlett Johannson (Kaa). With Disney’s casting announcements, their movie was looking much better on paper, well until today.
Warner Bros. made some casting announcements of their own for Jungle Book: Origins and good lord are they matching fire with fire. The actors and actress announced for Jungle Book: Origins are Andy Serkis (Baloo), Benedict Cumberbatch (Shere Khan), Naomie Harris (Wolf Mother), Christan Bale (Bagheera), Tom Hallander (Tabaqui), Peter Mullan (Akela), and Cate Blanchett (Kaa). I intentionally left a few names out, here’s a side by side comparison below.
Baloo – Andy Serkis (WB)/Bill Murray (Disney)
Shere Khan – Benedict Cumberbatch (WB)/Idris Elba (Disney)
Mowgli – Neel Sethi (Disney)/Rohan Chand (WB)
Akela – Giancarlo Esposito (Disney)/Peter Mullan (WB)
Rakcha (Wolf Mother) – Lupita Nyong’o (Disney)/Naomie Harris (WB)
Bagheera – Ben Kingsley (Disney)/Christian Bale (WB)
Kaa – Scarlett Johannson (Disney)/Cate Blanchett (WB)
Rakcha’s Mate (Warner Bros) – Eddie Marsan & Tabaqui (Warner Bros) – Tom Hollander
King Louie (Disney Studios) – Christopher Walken
Directors – Jon Faverau (Disney)/Andy Serkis (Warner Bros)
I’m happy to say that there will be at least a year in between the two film’s release dates. Disney’s The Jungle Book will release in theaters on October 9th, 2015. Warner Bros’s Jungle Book: Origins will release on October 21, 2016. Is there currently one film out of the two that you favor Movie Talkers? Share your thoughts with us.