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Andy Serkis Takes Over Director’s Chair Of ‘The Jungle Book’

Andy Serkis Takes Over Director's Chair Of 'The Jungle Book'

Well, we didn’t see this coming. Despite Ron Howard being courted last month—against our wishes—to helm a live-action take on “The Jungle Book” for Warner Bros. after Alejandro González Iñárritu walked away from the project, the “Rush” director will not be behind the camera on the presumed-franchise-starter. Instead it’s someone very familiar to the studio and another actor-turned-filmmaker.

THR reports that Andy Serkis, one of the pioneers of motion-capture performance, will take the reins on the project which would be his feature-length directorial debut. For those of you doubting Serkis’ ability behind the camera, it should be known that Serkis was hired-on by Peter Jackson as the second-unit director for ‘The Hobbit‘ trilogy and, according to the trade, he was behind the much bally-hooed barrel-chase in the “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.”

So yeah, dude knows his way around a blockbuster set-piece and that’s not even counting his experience as a motion-capture performer which will come in handy for Warner Bros’ “The Jungle Book,” said to include “plenty of CG and motion capture” because of course it will. This take, as opposed to Disney’s Jon Favreau-helmed live-action vesion that will retain “the family brand with certain mythic elements,” will hew more closely the Rudyard Kipling’s darker original stories, in the script by Callie Kloves. What do you folks think, is this a great wild choice or should the studio have gone for someone more experienced?

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Wouldn't be his debut… he's directing a mo-cap version of ANIMAL FARM as we speak…


It's a no-brainer; of course Andy Serkis is the right choice — he IS a director, and he's been in on the development of 'performance capture' from the beginning. He has the background and the skills to make "Jungle Book" in a whole new way, combining the best of live action, CG, and motion-capture. Remember leaving "Jurassic Park" asking yourself, "How did they DO that?!", and again, when you were amazed at Gollum in "Lord of the Rings"? This film will take us to places like that again because that's where Mr Serkis lives and excels. I can't imagine a better choice to director this film; just watch and see what he does. (and, no, I've never had the pleasure of meeting him, and we're not related)


An Oscar nomination for "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is a credible possibility as well.

He is the ONLY star in the rapidly growing mo-cap field, and I think a decade since his breakout in "Lord of the Rings", the industry may be waking up to the fact that Serkis is not only exceptionally talented but also a marketing asset. I am guessing that if one were to dig deeper it would be found that the directing deal was part of an incentives package to either get him in front of the camera (as well) on "Jungle Book" or to secure his services on an upcoming WB mo-cap tent pole.


Christ, I hope it's not a gritty reboot again.

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