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Warner Bros. is STILL pushing forward their version of the “Jungle Book”…why?

in Disney, Movies

Wait, what? Yeah, you read that right.

While Disney and Jon Favreau’s live-action take on The Jungle Book is about to sweep into theaters, and most-likely become a raving success, Warner Bros. promises that they’re still pushing forward with their version of the classic jungle story — just…later.

The Hollywood Reporter states that, as it stands right now, Jungle Book: Origins, which will be directed by Andy Serkis, is moving back an entire year, from Oct. 6, 2017, to Oct. 19, 2018.

“I’ve got to say that personally I’m absolutely thrilled that Warner Bros. has changed the delivery date of our movie,” Serkis wrote Wednesday. “The ambition for this project is huge. What we are attempting is an unprecedented level of psychological and emotional nuance in morphing the phenomenal performances of our cast into the facial expressions of our animals.”

See, this sounds so familiar. I don’t know where I could have possibly seen interviews on nuance and “morphing a cast into animals” before. Wait! It’s been literally all over the internet and our television screens with Disney’s The Jungle Book. Now, my problem with this project doesn’t stem from being a Disney fanboy, but more with the lack of willingness from the executives at Warner Bros. to swallow their pride, trash this project, and devote big bucks to an original idea — or something worthy of fixing Batman vs. Superman.

We’re already about to have a new take on the classic tale, and 2018 is still close enough to the release of Disney’s movie that it absolutely will generate audience confusion and fatigue. Bet on it. Because Andy Serkis sure isn’t:

“So, every minute more that we have to evolve the technological pipeline will make all the difference. … The evidence is there already and it’s off the chain exciting, so hang on in there. …This is truly next-generation storytelling, and it will be the real deal!”

We’ll see. I enjoy almost everything Andy Serkis puts his hands on — my beef is with WB. What do you think of consuming yet another take on The Jungle Book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

5 Comments

  1. Ryan

    The root of the problem isn’t a problem with originality being in short supply. There’s tons of it and it’s that big studios aren’t taking risks like they were once before. People aren’t going to see original characters and stories either. They’re putting their money on properties and fandoms. Titles that exist in other mediums that are “due” for a big screen adaption.

    We won’t get another Back to the Future or Raiders of the Lost Ark for a long time, if ever and that bums me out just a little. But if you need a glimmer of hope that all is not lost, check out the trailer for Swiss Army Man.

    I long for a return to adventures like The Goonies or comedies even in the same ballpark as The Jerk. But as long as nostalgia rules the pop culture roost, we’re going to get a lot of reboots and rehash, including two studios putting out different versions of the same fucking story.

    But THAT could even go down to the problem with the public domain being locked up tighter than…jewels..or..diamonds or something. That analogy swung in before I could finish it.

  2. Garaan

    Only we -are- getting a new Indiana Jones here one of these days hopefully before Ford dies for real.

    That is the problem, though. Everyone’s obsessed with reboots, refurbs, and rehashes of old movies and old franchises. With movies costing the average GNP of small countries, none of the studios has the chutzpah to get out there and do anything interesting because it might flop. (Well, except Pixar, I guess. Zootopia looks like it won the lotto.) I remember when movies like Ghostbusters were the mainstay, not the exception. It also makes me happy for people like Guillermo del Toro, who has enough clout to MAKE the studios pony up for original content (Devil’s Backbone, Crimson Peak, Pan’s Labyrinth)… but again, that’s the exception, far from the rule.

    1. Jeffrey

      Pixar didn’t make Zootopia. That was Walt Disney Animation Studios. The only link is John Lasseter and technology…

  3. EricJ

    When you see “Competing projects”, it’s usually over a source material that the more high-profile owners CAN’T sue over, like two Hercules movies, or two Jungle Book movies, or two Snow White movies in as many months. Just look at The Asylum pump out their own Sleeping Beauty cheapo the minute Maleficent hits theaters.
    In “Mirror, Mirror”‘s case, we got a competing Snow White movie because Tarsem Singh thought he was going to do Snow White & the Huntsman, didn’t get to, and went out to make his own since there was no law against it.

    Which sort of conjures up WHY Andy Serkis–who Really Wanted to Direct–went out to do his own actors-morphed-into-animals movie when he didn’t get to be in Jon Favreau’s.
    (And as for “Why doesn’t Warner just give up already?”, A) it’s too expensive to give investors back their money once they’ve already started spending it to shoot, and B) they’re Warner. So, they’ll dump it in theaters during an invisible “cannon-fodder” weekend when no other hits are playing for two weeks, and hope it leaves early.)

  4. David

    The other issue worth noting is this: Serkis’s movie is supposedly going to fairly true to the original Kipling stories. Favreau’s version appears to reincorporate some stuff from Kipling, but it’s effectively a live-action remake of the 1967 Disney cartoon which, though it has a few plot points and characters in common with its nominal source material, really bears only a passing resemblance to the book. I get the impression that Favreau’s film is supposed to be a movie for Disney fans, while Serkis’s is geared toward Kipling fans. As I consider myself more of a Kipling fan (though I do enjoy the Disney version), I’m hoping Serkis will indeed deliver an adaptation that’s fairly true to the book. Do you think many other audience members will care about this distinction, though? I get the impression that Adam McCabe really doesn’t, and I can kind of understand why: twoJungle Books may just bee too many, regardless of their wildly differing plots. Also, I want to say that a few years ago, Serkis announced his version a good while before Disney announced theirs. Does anybody else remember if this is accurate?

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