Not content to battle it out over the realm of comics alone, Warner Bros (which owns DC Entertainment) and Disney (which owns Marvel Studios) will be sparring to find out who can recreate the children’s classic The Jungle Book better.
Disney’s version is due to come out a year earlier next October, and has already enlisted Idris Elba as the tiger Shere Khan (please make him say: “Cancel the apocalypse? I AM THE APOCALPYSE!”), Bill Murray as Baloo the bear (Murray probably just wondered into production like he does to bystanders on the street), Sir Ben Kingsley as Bagheer the panther and Scarlett Johansson as Kaa the python.
Not to be outdone, Warner Bros announced its own line up for Jungle Book: Origins, which will be directed by the man who plays Gollum from Lord of the Rings/Hobbit and Caesar from Planet of the Apes. In addition to Andy Serkis, who will also play Baloo, Warner’s cast includes Hobbit co-CGI-star Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, former Batman Christian Bale as Bagheera the panther and Cate Blanchett as Kaa.
As some readers will know, here at Geek Crusade we are great fans of Mr Cumberbatch and his amazing voice. He’s already got villainous practice from portraying Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), plus more voiceover experience as the wolf-spy-agent Classified in Penguins of Madagascar.
Bale, too, has had some practice changing his voice and “becoming a beast” for Batman, so he should be fine as a panther.
It’s hard for me not to imagine this as some clash of franchises, with Cumberbatch, Serkis and Blanchett all having roles in The Hobbit, while Kingsley and ScarJo have roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That being said, Smaug and Galadriel would prove to be quite a force for Black Widow and, well, Trevor. Of course, a Jaegar might appear from the void to save them… only to be overrun by an army of apes… which might be squashed by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man… and then Batman…
I’m getting ahead of myself.
Disney’s The Jungle Book is set to open on Oct 9, 2015, while Warner Bros’ Jungle Book: Origins is set for an Oct 21, 2016, release date.
Which Jungle Book are you more excited about and why? Let us know!