Variety reports that the BBC and Pathe productions will be funding a $50 million dollar live-action production of "the Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling.
The Variety article mentions that the production will be helmed by BBC natural-history filmmaker John Downer, with pre-production starting in September and taking two years to complete:
Downer will use a combination of footage they will shoot on location in India, combined with CGI and blue screen to achieve the effect of the animals actually talking.
Kipling's "Jungle Books" tell the story of Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves. He's kidnapped by monkeys and rescued by his animal friends, including Baloo the Bear, Bagheera the panther and Kaa the python. But when it comes to fighting the tiger Sher Khan, Mowgli must do that on his own.
"My ambition is to use pioneering digital and wildlife filming techniques to portray one of the greatest stories of all time just as the author intended -- with real live talking animals inhabiting the jungle world of Kipling's India," Downer said.
Its an ambitious project and will probably never be released into large cineplexes, but rather the sticky-floored art houses that still dot the landscape of the motion picture world. I could be wrong on that, but I haven't known Pathe to do anything in a wide, commercial release, so if you are interested in this, stay tuned and we'll work to keep you up to date.