WB delays JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS again, shuffles around 2017 schedule

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So I watched Disney’s new live-action The Jungle Book yesterday. You’re going to have to wait a couple days to get my full review, but I will say this: I’m probably not going to tarnish the 100% rating it currently has on RottenTomatoes one bit, thank you very much! The reason I mention all those positive reviews is that I’m sure that the folks at Warner Bros have also noticed them, as they have their own live-action take on Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale in the works. And in this staring contest, they may just have blinked.

The Andy Serkis directed Jungle Book: Origins was previously already bumped back from its original 21 October 2016 date to 6 October 2017 to reportedly give it more time to work on the movie’s intensive visual effects. And now comes the news from THR that it has been delayed another year to 19 October 2018. With the amount of acclaim its namesake competition is currently receiving, you can be damned sure that the WB execs probably thought it wiser to give themselves more room to stake out their own claim.

On paper at least, Jungle Book does have an equally appealing, or some would even say more appealing cast than the Disney offering with Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Christian Bale as Bagheera, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Tom Hollander as the jackal Tabaqui, Peter Mullan as wolf pack leader Akele, Naomie Harris as she-wolf Nisha and Eddie Marsan as her mate Vihaan. With an A-list cast like that, and a year’s breathing room, the film should still pull in a lot of public interest when it does release.

WB have now scheduled a still untitled “event film” in Jungle Book: Origin‘s old slot October 2017 slot, but with no hint as to what it is. That wasn’t the only shuffle that happened on WB’s calendar though. Possibly due to the incredible response Gal Gadot’s character received from fans in Batman v Superman, Warner Bros has pushed forward Wonder Woman from June 23, 2017 to June 2, 2017.

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But while that may look like increased confidence in one franchise, it may indicate a lack of confidence in another as June 2, 2017 was supposed to be the release date of Bad Boys 3. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer recently told Deadline that they still don’t have a script, so don’t be surprised if that date also changes.

Most intriguing though is WB have now also penciled in two untitled DC Cinematic Universe movies for October 5, 2018 and November 1, 2019. Could these be the solo Batman and Superman movies that everybody knew was coming, but had not been included on their DC Comics movie lineup? With The Flash and Aquaman already scheduled for 2018, and Shazam! and Justice League – Part Two occupying 2019, that is going to be a very cramped two years. Would there still be space for their two biggest heroes as well?

Last Updated: April 7, 2016

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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