It seems that adapting old animated classics has become quite the blockbuster formula lately, and now The Jungle Book aims to join that market. We were already given Maleficent with Angelina Jolie, and Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, as well as Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, and they were proved to be quite the lucrative idea, with Wonderland making $1 billion worldwide and Cinderella making $542 million on a $95 million budget.
Directed by Jon Favreau of Iron Man fame, the live action Jungle Book movie will be heavily based on the Rudyard Kipling story of the same name. The film blends live action with photo-realistic CGI and contains the same goofy characters we grew up with, featuring a list of huge names offering their voices including Scarlett Johansson playing the python Kaa, Christopher Walken as King Louie the massive orangutan, Idris Elba as the powerful tiger Shere Khan, Ben Kingsley as the wise panther Bagheera, and Bill Murray as the lovable bear Baloo.
Raised by wolves, Mowgli (played by Neel Sethi, a young actor found from an international search) is virtually the only human in the jungle. He soon finds himself being targeted by Shere Khan, who bears the scars of Man and has vowed to destroy the threat of humans in the jungle. Thus, Mowgli begins his journey to find his own people who reside in a nearby “man-village” thanks to the guidance of Bagheera and the company of Baloo, discovering many captivating creatures and beautiful jungle landscapes along the way that will no doubt look amazing in the movie.
To illustrate just how much CG is used in this movie, director Jon Favreau revealed via twitter that the whole thing was filmed in down town LA.
— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) September 15, 2015
See the first trailer here:
The film is set to release April 15, 2016 in 3D. Whether or not it will be a full musical like the animated 1967 version isn’t entirely clear yet, but it will certainly feature a few songs, hinted by the coy whistling at the end of the trailer. The one thing we can rely on is that Bill freakin’ Murray will be singing the Bare Necessities song, as promised by Jon Favreau. I don’t know about you, but if that was the only song in the film it would be good enough for me.