So, once again Hollywood studios are competing needlessly for properties based on public domain works. First there was the battle over last year’s Snow White movies, and now comes a couple of flicks based on “The Jungle Book.” Jon Faverau has his production at Disney, a live-action/animated take involving Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray and newcomer Neel Sethi. Not to be outdone, Warner Bros. are lining up an equally star-studded cast for their rendition directed by Andy Serkis, which will be called “Jungle Book: Origins.”
Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan are joining previously announced Benedict Cumberbatch and “Bad Words” kid Rohan Chand as Mowgli for a film combining motion capture, CGI, and live action. So, who is who? Well: Serkis is Baloo, Bale is will voice Begheera, Blanchett lends her pipes as Kaa, Hollander will play Tabaqui, Mullan is Akela, Harris is Nisha, and Marsan will portray Vihaan.
So there you go. The battle between the two studios over a 120 year old franchise begins and whoever wins, we lose. [THR]
Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller and Michael Angarano will make like rats in a maze via the “Stanford Prison Experiment.” Kyle Patrick Alvarez (“C.O.G.”) will direct a film “based on the landmark experiment conducted at Stanford University in the summer of 1971, in which randomly-chosen 19 and 20-year-old students were divided into camps of either prison guards or prisoners. The experiment was meant to last two weeks, but it was cut short due to the level of cruelty and sadism that erupted among the participants.” [The Wrap]
Model/actress Cara Delevingne is joining the John Stamos co-produced (!!!!) Beach Boys musical “All Summer Long.” Michael Sucsy will direct the “1960s California-set story inspired by the crooners’ music.” Sorry, you probably won’t hear “Kokomo.” [Deadline]
Toby Kebbell (aka the jerk from “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes“) is joining Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson and Sigourney Weaver in Juan Antonio Bayona‘s “A Monster Calls.” The movie will follow “a young boy who attempts to deal with bullying at the hands of his classmates, and his mother’s terminal illness, by escaping into a fantastical world through the guidance of a tree monster.” [THR]
Alexandra Maria Lara (“Rush“) is joining Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris and Andy Garcia in “Geostorm” which has the best synopsis ever: “Butler stars as a satellite designer who must team up with his estranged younger brother to save the world from an epic man-made storm when the world’s climate-controlling satellites malfunction. As Butler heads into space, Sturgess uncovers a plot to assassinate the president, who will be played by Andy Garcia.” Production begins this fall. [The Wrap]