Jon Favreau responds to Jungle Book sequel rumours

Jon Favreau

by John Nugent |
Published on

Disney’s latest take on The Jungle Book hasn’t even been released in most parts of the world, but with healthy box-office tracking, positive buzz and 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, there's already rumblings of a sequel. Now, the film’s director, Jon Favreau, has clarified the news.

Speaking exclusively to Empire, Favreau appeared to pour at least a small cup of cold water on the story. “What was printed was a rumour,” he told us. Nonetheless, conversations about a second film have taken place at the Mouse House.

“I can at least confirm that we've been talking about the notion of doing a sequel, and what the sequel might be,” Favreau said. “But there was no decisive step taken [from the conversation] that that report was based on.”

The Jungle Book

Based on the original book by Rudyard Kipling, and inspired in part by Disney’s earlier 1967 animated take on the story, the film has won praise for its hyper-realistic CGI animation. It has also won praise for having Bill Murray singing ‘The Bear Necessities’ as Baloo – as well it should.

The film has already opened strongly in some international markets, ahead of its UK/US release this Friday. But Favreau emphasised Disney will be watching its box-office take before greenlighting a sequel. “For a film of this size,” he continued, “the sequel conversation doesn't really begin until they see how the film performs.”

If and when a sequel does happen, The Favs will be at the helm. “Yeah, I would be involved. And I'd be happy to. It was a very interesting process.” He also confirmed that it would not be based on any of the sequels or spin-offs from the 1967 film.

“It won’t be based on TaleSpin,” he joked, referring to the odd early ‘90s Disney Channel cartoon series, which featured Baloo as an airplane pilot, for some reason.

Jon Favreau

In any case, Favreau's initial foray into the jungle - starring Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong'o and Murray – arrives in UK and US cinemas on April 15. Read Empire's review right here.

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