Days before the first installment hits cinemas, Disney has announced that plans are already underway for a Sequel to the live-action remake of Rudyard Kipling’s classic, The Jungle Book.
The Jungle Book was directed by Jon Favreau, and written by Justin Marks, and it seems Disney is keen on keeping the team together, as both of them are already in talks to come on board for the planned sequel.
Disney’s decision to go ahead with The Jungle Book sequel at this time really should not come as much of a surprise to anyone. The film currently holds a certified fresh rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning it’s had stellar reviews.
Though the movie is being released in most countries (including the US, Brazil, France, China, The UK, Germany, Nigeria, etc) , it already opened in small Asian and Latin American markets, where it has been able to gross over $31 million, including the $8 million it opened to in India (the second highest-ever opening for a Western film).
Directed by Jon Favreau, The Jungle Book is a fantasy-adventure film which follows the story of Mowgli, a human boy raised by the Indian wolves Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) ever since he was a baby and brought to them by Bagheera the black panther (Ben Kingsley). When the fearsome Bengal tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens his life since man isn’t allowed in the jungle, Mowgli leaves his jungle home. Guided by Bagheera and Baloo the bear (Bill Murray), he sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the man-hunting Shere Khan. Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who do not exactly have his best interests at heart including Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) the python and the smooth-talking Bornean orangutan, as well as King Louie (Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly “red flower”.
Speaking on the film’s CGI recently to People Magazine, Favreau said, “We wanted to give a new take on some of it but maintain the traditions of both Rudyard Kipling’s book and the 1967 animated film. We set out to design a world that felt at once both authentic to India (where the story is set) and also felt mythic and dreamlike.”
“It looks different from anything else. We’re kind of building off a tool set that was built for the most part for Avatar. The big thing was if we were going to commit to creating a world digitally, we needed to make it indistinguishable from nature as best we could, use the latest technology and if it was required, build new tools,” he added.
It would be interesting to note what the announcement of a sequel to Disney’s version of The Jungle Book means for Warner Bros. and their plans to make their own live-action adaptation of the story. Last week, Warner Bros. announced that they had moved the release for their Jungle Book: Origins back an entire year, from October 6, 2017 to October 19, 2018. While no official explanation was given for the move, many assumed it was to put as much distance between their film and Disney’s version. The announcement of this sequel is however likely to complicate things a bit, as it is expected that the Disney sequel will come about the same time as Warner Bros’ new date.
However things turn out, we’ll be sure to keep you in the know.
Disney’s version of The Jungle Book hits cinemas across Nigeria this Friday, and is being distributed by Blue Pictures.