Though Disney’s modern take on The Jungle Book is yet to open in theaters, a positive wave of early reviews coupled with strong box office tracking have unsurprisingly fuelled talk of a sequel, with The Hollywood Reporter claiming just yesterday that the House of Mouse has opened negotiations for Jon Favreau and scribe Justin Marks to descend on the studio’s CG jungle once again.
Alas, according to Favreau, reports of a Jungle Book 2 easing into pre-production so soon appear to have gotten out of hand, after the director revealed to Empire that yesterday’s report “was a rumor.”
With that said, Favreau didn’t necessarily rule out the possibility of a follow-up to Disney’s imminent, CG-laden feature, stating that, “I can at least confirm that we’ve been talking about the notion of doing a sequel, and what the sequel might be. But there was no decisive step taken [from the conversation] that that report was based on. For a film of this size, the sequel conversation doesn’t really begin until they see how the film performs.”
That’s hardly surprising, particularly when you consider that bleeding-edge visual effects and a star-studded cast – two elements that have anchored The Jungle Book‘s marketing from the word go – don’t come cheap. If a sequel were to kick into gear, however, Favreau revealed that he would return at the helm: “Yeah, I would be involved. And I’d be happy to. It was a very interesting process.”
Featuring Idris Elba as the glowering Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Christopher Walken as King Louie and Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, The Jungle Book roars into theaters on Friday, April 15.