British star Idris Elba is set to voice the killer tiger in an upcoming reboot of The Jungle Book. The actor is reportedly in final negotiations with Disney bosses to portray Shere Khan, the villainous jungle cat who is on the hunt for the story's protagonist Mowgli.
The film is a revamp of the beloved 1967 animated classic, which is based on Rudyard Kipling's book of the same name.
Iron Man director Jon Favreau is helming the project, which will combine live-action and visual effects in a similar vein to 2009's Avatar.
Fall Out Boy star Pete Wentz has confirmed reports he's set to become a dad again. The bassist uploaded a photo of himself and girlfriend Meagan Camper kissing on his Instagram.com page on Monday (17Feb14), and then posted a tweet revealing the happy news.
He writes, "we're super excited to announce we're expecting a baby!"
The child will be the rocker's second - he first became a father when he was married to Ashlee Simpson in 2008. Bronx Mowgli Wentz is now five years old.
Simpson and Wentz split in 2011 and he went on to date model Camper later that year.
The happy couple's baby news emerges one month after Simpson announced plans to wed her boyfriend Evan Ross, the son of soul icon Diana Ross.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Impossibly, there are two different versions of The Jungle Book coming to theaters in the near future: one from director Jon Favreau and the folks at Disney (which will probably have more dancing animals), and a completely different project from Warner Bros. that is now in the hands of Ron Howard, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Coming off of Rush, one of 2013’s most overlooked movies, director Howard has just signed on to take over directing duties for the upcoming live-action Jungle Book film. Howard is taking over the film from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who had to leave the project over scheduling conflicts. In any case, the move from Inarritu to Howard seems to be a solid one; Inarritu’s involvement with the project had been a bit of a head scratcher from the beginning. Inarritu has always been fascinated with the dark immorality of humanity, and his filmography is filled with morbid and depressing works that are pretty much the polar opposite of any sort of conceivable Jungle Book film... unless things got really goth for Mowgli in his teenage years.
But seriously, the director of such films as Biutiful, Babel, and 21 Grams signing on to make a live-action Jungle Book film was always terribly odd. Howard, on the other hand, seems like the right man for the job, and his work on the upcoming project could see the director return to a genre of film that he hasn’t touched for quite a while. We're talking about the magical decade of the 1980s, during which Howard made films like Splash and Willow. Whimsical family-friendly adventures that are probably lying around your attic in moldy VHS sleeves. Even though the director has moved on to more prestigious fare like the Oscar nominated Apollo 13 and Frost/Nixon, as well as the previously mentioned Rush, we do miss the Howard that made films about Tom Hanks falling for mermaids named Madison. The director knew how to make a fantastic kid's film, and news that he might be returning to that sort of thing has our nostalgia meters hitting an 11 on a 10-point scale. Here's hoping The Jungle Book doesn't disappoint... although we do have Favreau's as a backup.
Filmmaker Ron Howard is in talks to direct and produce a live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book. The Apollo 13 director is set to take over the project from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who dropped out of the film last month (Jan14), citing scheduling issues, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Jungle Book, which is based on a 1894 Rudyard Kipling story, centres on a young boy, called Mowgli, who is raised by wolves.
This isn't the only The Jungle Book project in the works - director Jon Favreau is developing a live-action movie for Disney.
Fall Out Boy rocker Pete Wentz has revealed he is ready to marry longtime girlfriend Meagan Camper. Just days after his ex-wife Ashlee Simpson announced her engagement to Diana Ross' son, Evan, the bassist has hinted he could also be heading down the aisle for a second time.
During an interview with U.S. chat show host Wendy Williams on Tuesday (21Jan14), he said, "It's insane that she (Meagan) hangs out with me! I feel like we look like 'hot girl pictured with homeless man trying to beg her for change'. This is like charity work here.
"I think I'll get married. I mean, we talk about it a lot. I feel really lucky. It's, like, really interesting to be in a relationship with someone who is truly my best friend. Like, I talk to her about everything."
Wentz split from Simpson in November, 2011 after three years of marriage. They share a five-year-old son, Bronx Mowgli.
Pop star Ashlee Simpson is set to wed again after accepting a marriage proposal from Diana Ross' son. The 29-year-old singer and Evan Ross announced their engagement via Twitter.com on Monday (13Jan14).
Actor Ross, 25, wrote, "The love of my life said YES!!!!!!" and Simpson added, "My baby love and I are ENGAGED!!! Hallelujah Hawaii!!!"
Ross suggested he was smitten with Jessica Simpson's sister when he was asked about the romance at the Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere in November, telling one reporter, "She's the one... I'm so in love and we've got amazing things going on."
Simpson was married to Fall Out Boy star Pete Wentz from 2008 to 2011. The former couple has a five-year-old son, Bronx Mowgli.
Roadside Attractions via Everett Collection
Every so often, film trends become apparent, and recently there's been no bigger trend than live action adaptations of fairy tales. First, there were dueling Snow Whites, then multiple Cinderellas entered production, and most recently, three different Peter Pans announced that they would be facing off at the box office. Now, it looks like Jon Favreau and Disney's upcoming remake of The Jungle Book will be getting some friendly competition, courtesy of Alejandro González Iñárritu and Warner Bros. The Mexican director is set to helm a live-action version of Rudyard Kipling's novel, which tells the tale of Mowgli, who is raised in the jungle by animals who help protect him from the evil tiger, Shere-Khan.
Iñárritu is best known for directing the Oscar-nominated films Babel and Biutiful, both of which are intense, character-driven dramas, which could be an indication that he may take these children's story in a more adult direction. If Iñárritu's Jungle Book does end up being more suitable for an older audience, this could have have both positive and negative effects on the film. On the one hand, it will allow the movie to stand out from Favreau's, which being produced by Disney, will probably be a more lightheated tale, designed for an audience primarily made up of children. Therefore, there's less of a chance that moviegoers will confuse the two films, and therefore decline to see them based on the impression that they will be exactly the same. However, it tends to be a bit easier to draw a younger audience to films, and a classic story like The Jungle Book would be a definite box office draw. But if the film is too grown up, it means the film could lose that younger audience. Alternatively, adult movie-goers could be under the impression that it is a kid's film and decline to see it, despite it being a more grown-up take on the story.
Despite these concerns, a darker version of The Jungle Book could be a film worth seeing. There have been many films that attempt to highlight the darkness of the original Grimms fairy tales, but no similar attempts have been made to explore the more sinister aspects of this particular story. Although, since the previous live-action Jungle Book films have been known to traumatize children (namely, me) in the past, maybe Iñárritu won't need to do much in order to bring those terrifying elements to the big screen. The addition of Steve Kloves, best known as the screenwriter behind the Harry Potter films, as producer means that the Iñárritu's film should be able to balance out those darker moments with enough humor and light to ensure that the film is appealing to a wide audience.
Iñárritu's work can next be seen in the film Birdman, which stars Emma Stone, Edward Norton, and Michael Keaton, which is sceduled for a 2014 release.
Warner Brothers via Everett Collection
There's a whole genre designed to scare the hell out of us — a genre to which we pay particular esteem on Halloween. But even with all the Friday the 13ths and Nightmare on Elm Streets and The Rings (oooh, The Ring...) out there, we still can't help but find terror in a few odd entries in other cinematic categories. Sometimes, movies that intend to make us laugh, teach us lessons, or just take us on whimsical adventures wind up giving us nightmares. Here are a few non-horrors that rattled the Hollywood.com staff in our younger years...
The Pagemaster, Jordan Smith"The Pagemaster, that little Macaulay Culkin movie that hardly anyone remembers, is supposed to be a cute action-adventure story about learning to be brave, but I'm convinced it's really a deeply evil film designed by the film industry lobby to scare kids away from libraries and books. It just doesn't make sense otherwise. There's a moment toward the beginning of the film where Culkin's character is walking around a massive library with thousands of books. All of a sudden, a freaking tidal wave of color chases him around the building. I'm talking about fierce typhoon of evil rainbows that traps him and swallows him whole. That scene scared my little four year old body to the bone. In one fell swoop, The Pagemaster made various colors, running water, libraries, and reading absolutely terrifying. Thanks Macaulay!"
The NeverEnding Story, Casey Rackham"Nope. No thank you. Not for me. I don't know how old I was when I saw The NeverEnding Story, but I know that I watched it on VHS… so I was too young to see this scarring so-called children's movie. I don't remember too much about the plot of the film, but if I'm being honest, I don't really care to. It's bad enough that I remember 'The Nothing': a threatening void of darkness that consumes everything in its path. At that point in my life, the biggest, baddest villain I had met was Cruella de Vil. She's scary, but not nearly as haunting as a black hole of evil. Next up is the 'Swamp of Sadness.' (Come on, why would you name something that?) In possibly one of the most heartbreaking scenes of my childhood, I helplessly watched as Atreyu failed to save his horse who sunk to his death in quicksand in the Swamp of Sadness. And finally, even the character Falkor, a luckdragon that was supposed to be a wise guiding light throughout the movie (and who you were supposed to love), gave me nightmares for weeks. There's just something about a creature who is half dog and half dragon, has flaring nostrils, ruby eyes, and who can 'swim' through air that isn't right. The whole movie gave me a visceral reaction, so no, I would not suggest it to anyone that doesn't want to be entirely wigged out."
Drop Dead Fred, Michael Arbeiter"It was the early '90s, an era during which I spent a lot of after school time watching movies and television with the sociopathic neighbor kids the Rosens. While their tastes usually led us to simply disgusting fare like Ren & Stimpy, we were treated one day to a video viewing of what I would later find out to be Drop Dead Fred. I made it through only one scene of the movie — that in which the title character, a ghost or an imaginary friend or something, squeezed his own head in a refrigerator door. The other kids found it hilarious... I was mortified. For years. In fact, it wasn't until over two decades later that I'd even bring myself to Google the right combination of words to find out what movie it was that enforced upon me such trauma. Not a horror at all, I learned. A kooky, weird comedy. One that I will never watch again. And, needless to say, I don't talk to the Rosens anymore."
Balto, Alexa Smail"Balto, the heroic story of a dog who saved children, right? Wrong. In my childhood, the animated Disney flick was one of the most terrifying movie experiences ever. While, now, I'm not exactly sure why it was so scary, I do remember a giant black bear with eery yellow eyes and a bunch of mean wolves who tried to hurt the sweet and cuddly Balto. There were also a bunch of avalanches, some deathly sharp icicles dropping on the animals, and all the town kids dying from a weird disease that only kills kids… Ok, so maybe I had some good reasons to be frightened, Alaska seemed pretty freaking gruesome."
The Jungle Book (live action version), Julia EmmanueleLike most children, I was obsessed with Disney films growing up. As long as a movie has animated characters and some upbeat musical numbers, I was on board. When I was about five, while looking for a new movie to rent from my local Blockbuster, I came across the 1994 live action version of The Jungle Book. I'm not sure if I thought it was actually the animated film, which I loved, or if I just assumed that this one would also be lighthearted fun involving singing bears, but I convinced my mom to rent it. Once I sat down to watch it, though, I quickly found out that actual jungle animals don’t sing Louis Prima songs, and are actually quite terrifying. It only took about 10 minutes before I began screaming and crying hysterically, presumably because I thought that the panthers were either going to kill and eat Mowgli, or come out of my television screen and attack me. There was one scene in particular, in which the panther pounces on its prey, and I threw such a fit that my mother had to come in and turn the tape off. Not only did it take me forever to calm down that day, I refused to watch Disney's Jungle Book for years afterwards because I thought that the scary panthers would be in that one too. To this day, I've never seen past the first 10 minutes of the live action Jungle Book, but I hear it's a great film.
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Beloved author Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book is heading back to the big screen as a new live-action blockbuster for Disney. The movie studio tasted success with the project in the late 1960s when it was adapted into an animated hit and now executives are looking to update Kipling's 1894 short story collection, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Walt Disney died during production of the original movie.
They're not alone in revisiting the author's most famous stories, about orphan Mowgli - Warner Bros. bosses are also developing a film based on Kipling's book with Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves adapting the adventures.
Jessica Simpson is a new mom who just so happens to have her own fashion empire, so it will likely only be a matter of time before the star has those two worlds collide. That's right, the singer/designer/occasional actress and reality star could very well be designing looks for tots. So if Simpson insists on expanding into the very tiny fashion design, here's a few items we hope she stays away from:
Booty Shorts for Babies
Simpson rocked the heck out of those Daisy Duke shorts in The Dukes of Hazzard but not everyone can pull those things off. We're thinking babies are at the very top of that list of people.
Mommy and Baby Maxi Dresses
Assuming she didn't name her daughter Maxwell after the maxi dress (though, in the Simpson clan, when it comes to naming children there are apparently no limits) the kid deserves a break on the off chance that she did. The "maxi pad" and "Maxwell coffee" jabs on the playground should be more than enough. Plus, Mariah Carey already beat her to the punch. Divas, right?
Sure you need big shades when your momma is a big star, but let's be honest, babies are cute and fun, but far too fidgety for sunglasses.
If only to avoid discussion of these infamous jeans for the rest of time.
What do you think? Should Jessica Simpson make designer clothes for babies? If so, what's off limits? Would you buy them for your kid? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image Credit: David Edwards]
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