Alejandro González Iñárritu is in early talks to direct a live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book for Warner Bros. Deadline first reported the news.
The two-time Oscar nominee is best known for directing lyrical adult dramas, including 21 Grams, Biutiful, Amores Perros, and Babel, but seems to be expanding his repertoire lately. Iñárritu is currently in post-production on his first major comedy, Birdman, which stars Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, and Michael Keaton.
Warner Bros. declined to comment on the news.
Little is known about the project at this point, but telling the story of the young boy raised in the jungle for a major studio would be another departure for the Mexico City-native. Newcomer Callie Kloves has already written the script, and Harry Potter scribe Steve Kloves is set to produce.
Before confusion sets in, Disney also has a live-action Jungle Book adaptation in the works, with Iron Man’s Jon Favreau in talks to direct and a planned release date of Oct. 9, 2015. Kipling’s 1894 book is part of the public domain since it was published before Jan. 1, 1923, so is fair game for any number of adaptations from competing studios. Warner Bros. has yet to set a release date for their take.
At the very least, Favreau and Iñárritu have so far proven themselves to be wildly different storytellers. Even with common source material, it’s incredibly unlikely that the films will be all that similar.