Andy Serkis may be best known for playing Gollum in Lord Of The Rings and Caesar in Dawn Of The Planet of The Apes, but all that time around special effects has made him a bit of an expert in motion capture. It’s that experience that’s helped get him to job directing Warner Bros. live-action/CG version of The Jungle Book, according to THR. It didn’t hurt either that he was second unit director on The Hobbit trilogy.
He replaces the recently departed Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu, who dropped out of the project due to scheduling conflicts. Ron Howard was previously interested in directing, but also stepped away.
Based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic stories, the Junge Book is about Mowgli, an boy who’s been raised by wolves in the Indian jugle. He becomes friends with Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther, but no everyone is pleased to have his there, as the larger he grown the more man-eating tiger Shere Khan sees him as a threat.
There’s a bit of a race on as Warner Bros. isn’t the only Jungle Book in development. Disney is also working on a live-action version and currently seems to be loser to facing the cameras, with Jon Favreau directing and Idris Elba voicing Shere Khan.