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Andy Serkis on Directing His Next Animal Epic, THE JUNGLE BOOK

Ape Day is upon us! In case you haven’t been to Nerdist lately, today we’re celebrating the long-awaited and much praised release of director Matt ReevesDawn of the Planet of the Apes, starring master mo-cap thespian and recent Nerdist Podcast guest Andy Serkis (pictured above on horseback) as super-smart chimp chief Caesar.

But lest ye think chimpanzees are the only animals Serkis has had on his brain lately, he recently chatted with us about the next movie in which he’ll unleash his inner beast, one that will mark his feature film directorial debut — The Jungle Book, adapting Serkis’ fellow Brit Rudyard Kipling’s classic work (previously brought to the screen most famously by Walt Disney in his 1967 animated film). Serkis also updated us on the development of his film adaptation of yet another English animal tale — author George Orwell’s seminal 1945 novel Animal Farm.

Animal Farm we have been developing for some time,” Serkis told us, “and then relatively recently Warner Brothers approached me and asked if I’d like to direct Jungle Book. So we’re still evolving Animal Farm, but that will now not be first. Jungle Book is taking place first. And it’s really exciting. We’re working at the moment on evolving the characters. We’re designing, we’re casting. We’ve got a great script, we have a wonderful script as a backbone to this. The tone of it is returning to Rudyard Kipling, and the original work of Rudyard Kipling. It’s a very visceral right of passage movie with Mowgli. All of the animals will be performance capture.”

What would you like to see from a Serkis helmed Jungle Book? Sound off in the comments below.

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