By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com December 4, 2013 at 8:25PM
It feels like Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu wants to branch out. After four films of varying degrees of bleakness, in "Amores Perros," "21 Grams," "Babel" and "Biutiful" (none of which, it should be said, are without their hopeful qualities), the Mexican filmmaker has switched streams, with his next film, "Birdman," being an all-star comedy about an actor best known for playing a superhero. But his ambitions don't stop there, as it seems like Inarritu could be heading for the tentpole world, with a new version of a classic story.
According to Variety, the director is circling a new take on Rudyard Kipling's classic tale(s) "The Jungle Book," which is set up at Warner Bros. The new live-action take is being produced by Steve Kloves, who wrote all but one of the "Harry Potter" movies, while Kloves' daughter Callie will make her screenwriting debut penning the script.
This isn't the only version of the tale in development — only a few weeks ago, Disney (who were behind both the hall-of-fame animated version, and the most recent live-action film, the 1994 version directed by Stephen Sommers) hired Jon Favreau to direct a version with 'mythic elements,' penned by Justin Marks.
The director is best pals with Guillermo Del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron, and with the other two having had big successes this year with "Pacific Rim" and "Gravity" respectively, it seems that the filmmaker might have gotten a taste for bigger-budget, wider-audience fare. That said, he has a number of other projects in the works, including TV series "1%," survival tale "The Revenant" and true crime picture "Flim-Flam Man," so who knows how far off this could be. But given that it'll probably end with Mowgli losing his job, getting bowel cancer and then being eaten by a tiger, that might be for the best. In the meantime, "Birdman," which stars Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, and Amy Ryan, will hit theaters next year.