Hollywood loves a good clash of films about the same subject, and when there’s a property in the public domain where anyone can have a crack at it, you just know there’ll be sixteen different versions in development. Okay, so in this case it’s two, but with Alejandro González Iñárritu entering early talks to direct a live-action version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book for Warner Bros., the battle of the Books is on.
Warners is clearly keen on this one, as it has Harry Potter script veteran Steve Kloves at work on the screenplay. He’s fashioning Kipling’s tale of orphan boy Mowgli raised by animals into a brand new tale that Iñárritu – better known for films such as Babel and Biutiful – is considering making.
The studio is no doubt spurred by Disney's decision to attach Iron Man veteran Jon Favreau to its version, with Justin Marks at work on that script. So now we wait to see if Iñárritu actually takes the job and how that affects the forward motion on this race to bring Kipling to the screen again. Question is, whose version would you rather see, Iñárritu’s or Favreau’s?
Iñárritu, meanwhile, is preparing to release comedy Birdman, which promises to show his lighter side. Well, a bit lighter…