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Jul 10, 2013

THE JUNGLE BOOK: New Adaptations coming from Disney + Warner Bros.

Jason Scott Lee The Jungle Book

Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is set for two new film adaptions. Walt Disney Pictures is developing a live-action The Jungle Book project, calling upon Justin Marks to write the screenplay. As of now, no producers or directors are attached.

Kipling published The Jungle Book as a short-story collection in 1894. The stories focus on a young boy named Mowgli who was raised by wolves and befriended characters like Baloo, a big bear, and Bagheera, a black panther. One of the main and more popular villains is a tiger named Shere Khan.

Walt Disney has produced two onscreen adaptions of The Jungle Book. In 1967 Disney came out with an animated version of the tale, and it has become a popular classic, grossing $206 million worldwide. In 1994 Disney produced a live-action version of The Jungle Book, a forgettable take on the beloved story. This version had a budget of $20 million and grossed $47.9 million in the US, but is not hugely popular with fans.

Because The Jungle Book is in the public domain, numerous companies have rolled out live-action, cartoon, or television series versions. In fact, Warner Bros. is also currently attempting to develop The Jungle Book into a live-action movie. Steve Kloves, who penned many of the Harry Potter movies, is attached to write the screenplay and direct the film. In addition to Warner Bros., DQ Entertainment Ireland Ltd., an India-based animation company, is currently trying to develop a 3D animated version of The Jungle Book.

The adaption of The Jungle Book into a live-action film by Disney continues their trend of turning animated classics into live-action films. Kick-starting the more recent trend was Alice in Wonderland, which grossed over $1 billion. Alice got the ball rolling for Disney, and they are now in Post-production for Maleficent, a live-action take on Sleeping Beauty, and they are in Pre-production for Cinderella. Financially it seems like a wise move as their attempt at original, or I should say less known, ideas has not gone over well in recent memory with the likes of The Lone Ranger and John Carter bombing at the box office.

Represented by CAA, Justin Marks has previously written an early draft for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a Disney reboot which, at the time, was being produced by Sean Bailey who is now the studio’s production president. He also penned The Raven, which is being produced by Mark Wahlberg and directed by Ricardo de Montreuil.

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Sources: Hollywoodreporter, Wikipedia