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Gonzalez Inarritu May Take On First Big Studio Project

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by Anne Thompson
December 4, 2013 7:54 PM
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Javier Bardem on set with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
'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.

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