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Gonzalez Inarritu May Take On First Big Studio Project

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 4, 2013 at 7:54PM

Is Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ready to take on a big-budget studio tentpole?
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Javier Bardem on set with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
'The Jungle Book'
'The Jungle Book'

Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is "eyeing his first big tentpole feature," as Variety reports, I can't help but wonder what good will come of it. Yes, Rudyard Kipling's public domain classic "The Jungle Book" is one of the great pieces of globally accessible literature, the original fodder for the 1967 Disney animated classic starring Mowgli and the Wolf pack that raised him from a baby in the jungle along with the panther Bagheera and Baloo the bear. Shere-Khan is his Tiger nemesis. And Warners is no doubt crunching "Life of Pi"'s global numbers. Meanwhile Disney has approached Jon Favreau to possibly direct their live action "Jungle Book” movie. 

But "The Jungle Book" also spawned a cheesy 1994 Stephen Sommers movie starring Jason Lee. Yes, Gonzalez Inarritu's buddy Alfonso Cuaron worked well with “Harry Potter” scribe Steve Kloves, who is producing from Callie Kloves' script, on Warners' blockbuster "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." 

But Gonzalez Inarritu is a masterful artist of strong naturalistic dramas ("Babel") with raw emotional performances. Does he want to start learning the art of studio compromise? Production executive Jon Berg is supervising the movie for WB. 

Gonzalez Inarritu just wrapped drama “Birdman,” starring Emma Stone and Michael Keaton.

This article is related to: Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, In The Works, IN THE WORKS


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.