With the $1 billion haul for Alice In Wonderland, Disney saw that live-action adaptations of old animated classics can be very lucrative. Because of this, adaptations for Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Beauty And The Beast are all on the way, and now the newest film to join the ranks of soon-to-be-adapted is the 1967 classic The Jungle Book.
Based on a collection of short stories from Rudyard Kipling, the original Disney film focused on Mowgli, a young boy who was raised by wolves, and his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther. There’s also villains such as the sinister tiger Shere Khan and a snake by the name of Kaa.
This adaptation is coming from Justin Marks, who previously wrote The Raven, which Mark Wahlberg is producing, and an early draft of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Marks is currently the only one hired to work on the film, so it’s likely that not much else will be known about the project for quite some time, though the director search has begun.
Keep in mind, this isn’t the first attempt at a live-action version of the film. Disney adapted the film in 1994, and that movie fell far short of the magic of the original. I think the problem lies in the characters. The Jungle Book works so well as an animated film since the majority of the characters are talking animals. It’s extremely hard to make a live-action talking animal movie work well, and it likely won’t happen for quite some time. How far the technology for creating animals has come was shown in Life Of Pi, but it’s much more difficult to make a tiger talk than it is to make one roar.
What do you think of Disney adapting The Jungle Book? Do you think it will be a success? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.