Two years ago, both Warner Bros. and Disney were trying to get their respective adaptations of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book off the ground, although Disney's went through development more quickly that Warner Bros.' The Jungle Book: Origins. Fans will get to see Disney's The Jungle Book in theaters next weekend, but earlier today, Warner Bros. pushed The Jungle Book: Origins back by one full year, from October 6, 2017 to October 19, 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Director Andy Serkis responded to the news with a statement from his Facebook page, where he expressed his gratitude to the studio for the new release date.
"I've got to say that personally I'm absolutely thrilled that Warner Brothers have changed the delivery date of our movie. 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. We are breaking new ground with realistic non-humanoid animal faces, such as a panther or wolf, ensuring that they convincingly communicate with human language and emotion via performance capture, and are able to stand up to real scrutiny in richly complex dramatic scenes. 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!"
The Jungle Book: Origins started shooting in March 2015, marking Andy Serkis' directorial debut. The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli, raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.
The cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch as the tiger Shere Khan, Cate Blanchett as Kaa the snake, Christian Bale as the panther Bagheera, Andy Serkis as Baloo the bear, Peter Mullan as the leader of the wolf pack Akela, Tom Hollander as the scavenging hyena Tabaqui, Naomie Harris as Nisha the female wolf who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs,Eddie Marsan as Nisha's mate Vihaan and Jack Reynor as Mowgli's Brother Wolf. On the human side, young actor Rohan Chand will play the boy raised by wolves, Mowgli.
Andy Serkis is directing from a script by Callie Kloves, the daughter of Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves. Jonathan Cavendish is producing alongside Steve Kloves, with Nikki Penny serving as executive producer. The Jungle Book: Origins currently has the October 19, 2018 release to itself, with Warner Bros. putting an untitled "event film" in the October 6, 2017 release slot. Are you disappointed that The Jungle Book: Origins has been pushed by a full year?