Jon Favreau’s remake of “The Jungle Book” was one of the most spectacular Disney movies of recent years. It had the right mix of nostalgia, great animation, and visual effects. Neel Sethi was great as Mowgli. The movie has been very successful in India, where people have fond memories of watching a Hindi-dubbed version of the Japanese anime series. Now there are reports that Disney is already working on a follow-up to the critically lauded movie.
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) is reporting that Disney has already begun talks with director Jon Favreau and writer Justin Marks to return in their respective roles for a sequel to “The Jungle Book.” The live action and motion captured movie hasn’t even opened in the United States yet (April 15). THR mentions that Favreau will also produce along with Brigham Taylor, who was a producer in Favreau’s first “Jungle Book” movie.
The original animated Jungle Book movie was based on author Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories, “The Jungle Book.” It was a story about an orphaned Indian boy called Mowgli who’s raised by wolf mother Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o) who raised him as her own cub with the wolf pack leader, Akela (Giancarlo Esposito). His friends, Bagheera the black panther (Ben Kingsley) and Baloo the bear (Bill Murray), accompany him across the jungle and impart words of wisdom to the boy in addition to protecting him from the murderous intentions of the royal Bengal tiger Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba.
Kipling wrote a follow-up to his original “Jungle Book” called “The Second Jungle Book.” Published in 1895, the sequel featured five Mowgli stories and three other unrelated tales. The book also had a story called “The Spring Running” where Mowgli is grown up and shown to be about seventeen years old. Each of the tales in Kipling’s two books contains poems that accompany the stories.
It is unknown whether Jon Favreau’s sequel will use Kipling’s second book or Disney’s animated “The Jungle Book 2,” which is a sequel to the 1967 film. Favreau will probably use elements from both and create a unique tale. It also remains to be seen whether the iconic Shere Khan returns in the sequel after seemingly plunging to his death, trying to devour Mowgli.
Andy Serkis is also developing his own live action/motion capture movie based on Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” from Warner Bros. Pictures. Serkis’s “Jungle Book: Origins” is said to be more faithful to Kipling’s book than the 1967 Disney animated film. It has a stellar voice cast headlined by Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander, Naomie Harris, Frieda Pinto, Jack Reynor and Peter Mullan. It will be released on October 19, 2018 in the US.