According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ron Howard is now in talks to direct, just a month after Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel) was forced to depart the project due to scheduling conflicts.
Callie Kloves wrote the screenplay for Jungle Book, and she is the daughter of Steve Kloves (who wrote all of Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter films and is on board to produce Jungle Book). Howard also would produce via his Imagine Entertainment.
Warner Bros. are keen to get Howard on board as quickly as possible, especially as Disney have their own take in the works with Jon Favreau (Iron Man) at the helm. Despite the fact that the House of Mouse released the original 1967 animated classic, the Rudyard Kipling tale is in the public domain and both studios are free to produce their own takes as a result.
Howard’s last film aimed at children was How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2000, and his latest movie was the critically acclaimed Rush.