Just when it looked as if Warner Bros. had found a director for its live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, it lost him.
Deadline reports that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman), who was said to be up for the project just last month, leaving the studio a step behind Disney, which has its own adaptation in the works, with Jon Favreau at the helm. According to the website, Inarritu’s exit is being blamed on scheduling conflicts.
Both films are based on Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories about a Mowgli, an orphaned boy raised by wolves — with help from Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther — in the jungles of India, where he fights the ferocious tiger Shere Khan. (The book includes other stories, most notably “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.”)
The Warner Bros. project is penned by Callie Kloves, daughter of Harry Potter series writer Steve Kloves, who’s producing.