To put it bluntly, Warner Bros. owes Steve Kloves about two billion dollars. Roughly. As the man who adapted every entry in the 'Harry Potter' series of films, he played an integral part in turning the young adult novels into box office sensations that not only won over dedicated fans of J.K. Rowling's work, but also helped bring on new devotees for what is one of the most successful franchises of all time. And now, it looks like Kloves is going to use that goodwill to direct his first film in over two decades.
Variety reports (sorry Deadline!) that the WB have tapped Kloves to write and direct a live action take on "The Jungle Book." But wait, doesn't that belong to Disney? Nope. While they made the delightful animated movie we all know and love, the source material, Rudyard Kipling's book, is public domain, meaning (essentially) no one can really lay a copyright claim on it. And as a reader points out, Disney tried their own live action take in 1994 in the Stephen Sommers directed film starring Jason Scott Lee. Surely, there is a lot of room for improvement.
It's another big notch in Kloves' belt, which also includes penning the (stalled) "Akira" for WB and working on "The Amazing Spider-Man" for Sony. Should it move forward, "The Jungle Book" will be his third film, following "The Fabulous Baker Boys" and "Flesh And Bone."