Jon Favreau is set return to the big budget world with a new live action adaptation of “The Jungle Book” for Disney. My fellow Queens College alum, Favreau, made his big screen directing debut with “Made” back in 2001, then followed that up with the modern day Christmas classic, “Elf.” From there, it was a steady stream of big budget blockbuster-type films from “Zathura” to “Iron Man” to “Cowboys & Aliens.” Perhaps feeling a little burnt out on large studio fare, Favreau just wrapped work on an indie film called “Chef.” His clout, at this stage, can’t be questioned. Even for this “indie,” he was able to attract Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, and others.
So now, the studio with the big ears has tapped him to direct their next big screen adaptation of “Jungle Book,” which will retell the story of Mowgli- a boy raised by wolves, his animal friends, and the cruel tiger, Shere Khan. The script will be written by Justin Marks (“Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li”), and will be presumably be based on the original short stories by Rudyard Kipling.
This will be Disney’s second crack at a live action take, as you may recall the 1994 film that starred Jason Scott Lee. That version failed to ignite a franchise, making a profit of under $20 million. One can only imagine that Disney is hoping for better returns this time.
If Favreau is able to inject the same level of heart and warmth that he had in “Elf” into this, and combine it with the visual prowess he’s shown in his other effects-heavy films, this could be a perfect marriage for his skill set.