In an attempt to avoid being the “Infamous” to “The Jungle Book’s” “Capote,” the Jannetty to Disney’s HBK, Warner Bros. is bringing on Alfonso Cuarón to advise on its upcoming “Jungle Book: Origins.” Timing seems to be against the other new live-action take on Rudyard Kipling’s oft-adapted tales, as the Jon Favreau–directed version now in theaters has been met with highly favorable reviews and upwards of $350 million in worldwide box-office receipts after just one week.
Cuarón’s contributions will be uncredited, which is just as well: “Origins” is directed by motion-capture maestro Andy Serkis (Gollum in “Lord of the Rings”) and boasts a cast that includes the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Freida Pinto, Matthew Rhys and Naomie Harris. Serkis, whom many have called on to receive an Oscar nomination for his green-screen acting, will also play Baloo.
Production is already complete on the film, which recently had its release date moved from October 2017 to October 2018. (It was originally scheduled for October of this year.) Details are scarce regarding Cuarón’s involvement, with Deadline noting that Warner Bros. wants to avoid the perception that the Oscar-winning director of “Gravity” is taking the reins from Serkis.
For a sense of what Cuarón is capable of, watch the “Gravity” trailer: