How Is 'The Jungle Book' Different From 'Jungle Book: Origins'? There's More Than One Way To Tell Mowgli's Story
This month, Walt Disney Pictures heads to the wilderness for a new live action reboot of their 1967 animated classic, The Jungle Book. The film is getting rave reviews so far, with critics especially commenting on the impressive and groundbreaking visuals. But it won't be the only version of the beloved story you'll be seeing soon — there's actually another movie based on The Jungle Book heading to theaters in two years, and that's Jungle Book: Origins. But what's actually the difference between The Jungle Book and Jungle Book: Origins ?
The first and most obvious distinctions have to do with the people involved with each film. Veteran Iron Man director Jon Favreau is directing The Jungle Book, while actor and motion-capture pioneer Andy Serkis is making his directorial debut in Jungle Book: Origins. The films also have different casts, of course, with The Jungle Book being led by the likes of Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, and Idris Elba, and Origins boasting cast members Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, and Christian Bale. And then there are the rival studios at work. Disney is producing The Jungle Book , while Warner Bros. is handling Origins. And that difference is what brings me to one of the biggest discrepancies between the two films.
Disney's film is based on, well, Disney's old film. The new movie includes the character of King Louie — a character who does not appear in Rudyard Kipling's original stories. Warner Bros., on the other hand, obviously can't infringe upon Disney's intellectual property, so their movie Origins is based upon Kipling's stories, and therefore, there's no King Louie to be found. Coincidentally (and awesomely) though, both movies have made the decision to gender-swap the role of the python Kaa, who was male in Kipling's stories (and in Disney's original animated film), but will be female in both new films.
Another difference between the two is the presence of music in the Disney version. Although the new film isn't an outright musical like the original animated version, there is still at least some singing, and that is not expected at all in Origins. Especially when it comes to Disney songs like "Bare Necessities".
Both films will tell more or less the same basic story of Mowgli in the jungle that fans know already, with a few differences here and there, but another big difference is in the way the two films are made. The Jungle Book uses basically just one live action actor, Neel Sethi (Mowgli), and virtually everything else that appears on screen was created via computer. Jungle Book: Origins, on the other hand, will make use of more live action, and will also use a ton of motion-capture technology on its actors — which isn't surprising given that Gollum himself is directing.
So despite their similarities, the two upcoming Jungle Book movies seem to have enough separating them to warrant each of them being made, and theatergoers sitting through the classic story twice.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures; giphy.com