Whoever plans films should be fired because things are going to get really confusing really fast. Two movies based on the same story, The Jungle Book, are going to be released less than a year apart from each other. This occasional occurrence is not unheard of to happen in Hollywood. The two separate instances that come to mind are- White House Down/ Olympus Has Fallen (both movies about terrorists taking over the White House. Both released at the same time). The second one- I distinctly remember that myself, along with friends and family were very confused by this one- The Prestige/ The Illusionist (both movies about magicians in the early 1900’s).
These Jungle Book films are going to be far worse because it is the exact same story. The other movies I mentioned were distinctly similar- same plots-ish but at least they had different titles and had different characters. These Jungle Book films will have the exact same main characters and very similar stories no doubt. Imagine someone trying to talk about these movies…
Person 1: Hey, do you want to go see the new Jungle Book movie?
Person 2: Wait, which one?
Person 1: Ya, know. The new one.
Person 2: Which new one? Because I want to see the Warner Brothers one… Not the Disney one.
Person 1: Wait… What?! Which one is that?
See how that could get confusing?
Apparently they are planning on clearing this up by naming the films completely different things. One is going to be called “The Jungle Book” and the other “The Jungle Book: Origins.” Aaaah, yes. That is all cleared up now. So instead what appears to be happening is that each movie is trying to “out star” the other one. It seems each film is trying to collect the biggest names in the business to distinguish their movie.
Director: Jon Favreau, best known for the Iron Man films.
Mowgli: Neel Sethi, an adorable newbie.
Shere Khan: Idris Elba, best known for his roles in Thor and Pacific Rim.
Baloo: Bill Murray, best known for Ghostbusters, Ground Hog Day and crashing parties in Brooklyn (also if you don’t know who he is, we cannot be friends).
King Louie: Christopher Walken, best known for Deer Hunter, Catch Me if You Can and “more cowbell.”
Kaa: Scarlett Johansson, best known for kicking ass as Black Widow in various different Marvel films and We Bought a Zoo.
Bagheer: Ben Kingsley, who’s best known for being Gandhi in Gandhi, Enders Game and Iron Man3.
Raksha: Lupita Nyong’o, best known for 12 Years a Slave.
Director: Andy Serkis, best known for being Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and the new Planet of the Apes films, is making his directorial debut.
Mowgli: Rohan Chand, best known for his role in Bad Words.
Shere Khan: Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for playing Sherlock and making the internet go freaking crazy (including me, I feel not shame over this).
Baloo: Serkis, again.
Begheera: Christian Bale, best known for playing Batman.
Kaa: Cate Blanchett, best known for playing Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings and Elizabeth in Elizabeth.
Nisha: Naomie Harris, best known for playing Moneypenny in Skyfall and Winnie Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.
So with all the big names both studios have collected it looks like a good ole fashioned show down between Disney and Warner Brothers. I guess we will just have to wait and see who comes out on top.