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Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book has a pretty great history on the big screen thanks to both the animated film from 1967 and the live action adaptation from director Stephen Sommers in 1994, but now the story is getting ready get another feature adaptation, this time potentially from the director of Iron Man. According to Deadline, Disney is now in talks with Jon Favreau to helm a whole new adaptation of the classic novel.
First published in 1894, the most popular tale in the book follows a young jungle boy named Mowgli who was raised by wolves after his father was attached and killed by a tiger. The book recounts many stories about Mowgli's life in the jungle as well as other short plots - including "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," the story of a mongoose who must protect his human family from venomous cobras. The new take on the story is reportedly a priority at the studio, and Justin Marks, best known for writing the script for the absolutely terrible video game movie Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, is penning the screenplay. Said Favreau in a statement about the new gig,
“I can’t say that much, but there is an interesting take that could be very cool and the hope is to relaunch a family brand with certain mythic elements. It is my first real family film since Elf, and there are action elements and visual effects that I feel like my experience on the Iron Man films are going to be useful.”
Favreau may say that he's taking pieces away from the multiple films he's made over the years to make The Jungle Book, but the truth is that he already has made a family film filled with action and visual effects: Zathura. The movie wasn't particularly successful at the box office, and in many ways it was a sci-fi version of Jumanji, but it was well received by critics and was a surprisingly different kind of movie than the ones he's been making more recently.
Coming off of the disappointing Cowboys & Aliens in 2011, Favreau has been doing a bit of television work - directing the pilot of Revolution and helming one of the final episodes of The Office - but he will soon be back on the big screen with Chef, his next feature directorial effort starring himself, Robert Downey Jr., and Scarlet Johansson. While that film won't be out until May 9, 2014, we'll next see Favreau starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street.