There’s nothing like a bit of self-confidence and it would seem that Disney have it in abundance right now, as they are already holding talks for a sequel to their forthcoming, all-new production of The Jungle Book – this despite the fact that it’s not hitting the cinemas until this Friday.
They are keen to re-recruit director Jon Favreau and writer Justin Marks for The Jungle Book 2. Favreau would also be producing, while Neel Sethi, who plays Mowgli, is also nailed-on for a return.
It seems like a bold move at this stage, but if anyone can afford such a high-stakes gamble, it’s probably Disney. Also, given the CGI-generated animals, the high-profile voiceover cast and the much-loved writings of Rudyard Kipling that have obviously been drawn upon, it would be a complete shock were the first edition of the franchise to fail.
And with the movie garnering favourable first impressions, plus Favreau’s enviable track record, that’s looking highly unlikely. As mentioned previously, the cast – which includes Sir Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Idris Elba and Scarlett Johansson – should be stellar enough to bring home the bacon all by itself.
Let’s not forget that this also sets down another marker in the head-to-head that is developing between Disney and Warner Brothers, whose Andy Serkis-helmed version of the story is due for release next year. They will surely have a tough act to follow, but if they can match or even better it, will they be also be forced to chance their arm on a follow-up?
In the meantime, if you haven’t already caught the trailer for Disney’s offering, you can do so here before the whole story unfolds on April 15.