In the case of the dueling Jungle Books, the Warner Bros version has taken another step forward with the hiring of director Andy Serkis. No, there aren’t two Andy Serkises, the director in question is also the man famous for his motion capture performances as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, and the titular character in King Kong. But on The Jungle Book, Serkis will now be calling the shots, filling the director’s chair recently vacated by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel, 21 Grams).
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Serkis has won the director’s job over other contenders like Ron Howard. Aside from ample experience with motion-capture and CGI effects, both of which will probably be used heavily in any modern adaptation of The Jungle Book, Serkis has also been cutting his teeth on directing by leading a secondary unit on The Hobbit trilogy. Amongst his accomplishments, reportedly, is the barrel chase sequence in the recently released Desolation of Smaug.
The selection of Serkis is an interesting one, and fraught with potential. Serkis has been praised for his motion capture performances, creating complicated characters and demonstrating genuine emotion despite all the visual effects he’s typically surrounded by. If there’s one person that can create a fascinating live-action Jungle Book with a variety of interesting portrayals of the familiar characters, it’s probably Serkis. The actor will next be seen reprising the role of the ape leader Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this summer.
And that other Jungle Book by Disney? It’s already a step ahead with Jon Favreau in the director’s chair and Idris Elba as the tiger Shere Khan. It will be interested to see which version of the Rudyard Kipling’s classic will make it to theaters first.
We’ll have more news as it develops.
Source: Bleeding Cool