Andy Serkis To Direct Live Action ‘Jungle Book’

Motion capture actor Andy Serkis knows a thing or two about the jungle, so the fact that he’s directing the live action film Jungle Book isn’t too surprising. It was announced today that Serkis will be heading up the anticipated film.

The Warner Bros film based on the book of the same name by Rudyard Kipling centers around an orphan boy who is raised by the creatures of the jungle.

The Jungle Book live action adventure will be Serkis’ directorial debut. Technically he acted as a second unit director for Peter Jackson for the Hobbit trilogy, but this will be the first time he’s stepping behind the camera and going solo.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, right now it’s unknown whether or not Serkis will play the iconic characters of The Jungle Book, like Baloo, though if this news was announced in a few weeks we wouldn’t be shocked. After all, Andy Serkis is the leading character actor in motion capture and has made a career out of playing iconic roles like The Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, Caesar, and The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings’ Gollum.

Late last year we reported about another Jungle Book film that’s entirely separate from Andy Serkis’ version. That Jungle Book looks like it has all of its ducks in a row, with Jon Favreau of Swingers and Marvel fame in the director’s chair, and a cast that’s shaping up with actors like Idris Elba and Shere Khan. That film is expected to be handled by Rob Legato of Titanic and Hugo for the visual effects.

Before Serkis signed on to make his own Jungle Book film, Warner Bros already had director Alejandro González Iñárritu attached, but then the director dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. That said, fans of Andy Serkis shouldn’t fear about his version. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros is after an authentic feel and isn’t looking to reinvent the wheel too much. Warner Bros anticipates that Serkis will, “explore life and death issues and be true-to-life in portraying animal behavior.”

As for his acting roles, Andy Serkis has a full plate. His new film as Cesar Dawn of the Planet of the Apes comes out in July, and he was announced to make his directorial debut for Animal Farm, the adaptation of the George Orwell novel. So far we haven’t heard which film will come first, but we personally hope it’s Animal Farm.

[Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures]