Andy Serkis will make his directorial debut on one of the two rival Jungle Book movies now being readied by Hollywood studios.
Serkis takes over Warner Bros’ version of the Rudyard Kipling stories, a project that had at an earlier stage seen directors Ron Howard and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu involved. The Warner Bros project is said to be “darker” than its rival, which is set up at Disney, and which would appear to be ahead in the race to reach cinemas. That film announced some time ago that Iron Man’s Jon Favreau was its director, and more recently that Idris Elba was attached to voice the tiger Shere Khan.
As a first timer, Serkis may be a risky choice for a big budget family movie, but the actor and CG motion capture specialist won plaudits for his second unit direction on Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, which included putting together the celebrated barrel sequence in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.