Warner Bros. Delays Andy Serkis' 'Jungle Book' Movie But Pulls 'Wonder Woman' Closer

Warner Bros. Delays Andy Serkis' 'Jungle Book' Movie But Pulls 'Wonder Woman' Closer

Apr 06, 2016

Dueling movies are nothing new in Hollywood. They long predated the '90s, but the go-to reference always seems to be Deep Impact and Armageddon or Volcano and Dante's Peak. They aren't movies that actually opened against each other, but they tackled similar enough material close enough together that they became inextricably linked for all of pop culture history. A new generation was about to get their own movie duel thanks to rival Jungle Book movies coming from Disney and Warner Bros., but now that fight has been postponed quite a bit.

No, Disney hasn't suddenly freaked out and pulled Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book (pictured above). The movie, which hits theaters on April 15, 2016, is already getting a ton of buzz. The cast is incredible, the trailers promise some unprecedented visuals, and, best of all, the movie is already getting rave reviews. That's great for Disney and Favreau. It's bad for WB and Jungle Book: Origins director Andy Serkis. They've now delayed the release of his directorial debut from October 6, 2017 to October 19, 2018.

That's a pretty big slide for a movie that was already still over a year away, and while Serkis has taken to Facebook to say he's thrilled by the move ("every minute more that we have to evolve the technological pipeline will make all the difference"), it's clear WB feels the need to put as much distance as possible between their Jungle Book movie and Disney's.

One big difference between the movies is how Serkis' will use motion capture performances for all of the animals, but no matter how great that path turns out to be, the presence of one Jungle Book movie (particularly one getting good reviews) is easily going to sap interest in another a year later. Two years later, though, may be a decent enough gap for audiences to feel like they're seeing something new.

Wonder Woman

But while WB pushes back one movie, they're pulling forward another. Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster) and starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, has gained some ground and will now come out on June 2, 2017. Granted it's just a few weeks earlier than its previous June 23 date, but considering pretty much everyone can agree that Wonder Woman is one of the best parts of Batman v Superman, the sooner we get her solo movie the better.

Speaking of the studio's superhero movies, if you thought the slowing performance of BvS at the box office would hurt future DC Comics movies, think again. WB has just added two more untitled DC Comics films to their calendar. One will come out on October 5, 2018, the other on November 1, 2019. We don't know what those movies will be -- The Flash, Justice League, Aquaman, Cyborg and Shazam! all have dates already -- but it's a clear indication the studio plans to remain committed to their heroes.




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