Motion-capture specialist Andy Serkis – the man behind Gollum and Caesar the ape (among other computer-animated characters) – is now costarring in two major 2015 tentpoles, in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and may well reprise his role as Captain Haddock in an Adventures of Tintin sequel over the next year. His busy schedule might be partly responsible for Warner Bros. having moved the release date for Serkis’ directorial debut, The Jungle Book: Origins, back by a year.
Jungle Book: Origins is one of two developing live-action adaptations of the Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book novel (which is now in the public domain), along with Disney and director Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book, set for 2015. Serkis’ movie is expected to be the darker and more emotionally-challenging of the two adaptations; as such, the Origins script by Callie Kloves (daughter of Harry Potter screenwriter, Steve Kloves) might well be truer to the spirit of Kipling’s original stories about the man-cub Mowgli and his animal companions.
Warner Bros. has moved Jungle Book: Origins‘ release date to October 6th, 2017 – a date that it (for now) has to itself – and has shifted the sci-fi thriller Geostorm to take Origins‘ former spot on October 21st, 2016. Meanwhile, WB’s very recent decision to bump back the release for its Peter Pan origins movie, Pan, by a week during Summer 2015 has prompted Universal to move up the Amy Schumer comedy, Trainwreck, a week and take Pan‘s newly vacated spot on July 17th next year.
Geostorm is written and directed by Dean Devlin – filmmaker Roland Emmerich’s co-writer on ’90s sci-fi movies Stargate, Independence Day, and Godzilla (1998) – and takes place in a futuristic world, where the Earth’s climate is regulated by an advanced satellite. Gerard Butler is headlining the film as Jake, a man who leads a mission into space to repair the satellite when it malfunctions… only to discover that there may be a larger conspiracy behind the device’s newfound problems.
There’s usually a moderate-sized crowd that’s game for a Butler action B-movie (see: Law Abiding Citizen, Olympus Has Fallen, etc.), and that much ought to still hold true for Geostorm, especially since it’ll arrive in one of the few months of 2016 that isn’t already packed with big-budget offerings and/or franchise installments. Origins should also benefit from its new date; it gives Serkis more time to complete the film’s many motion-capture effects, and more distance from Favreau’s movie (to better avoid filmgoers getting burnt out on Jungle Book adaptations).
Trainwreck is being directed by Judd Apatow; and, by the look of it, will have a typical Apatow coming-of-adult-age comedy format, albeit with Schumer as the lead (drawing from her own script) rather than, say, Steve Carell or Seth Rogen. The film will open against Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man next year, but Trainwreck looks to have relative niche appeal anyway (on par with, say, Apatow’s This Is 40), so having to “compete” with a superhero movie during its opening weekend shouldn’t be a problem.
NEXT: Benedict Cumberbatch Voicing Shere Khan in Jungle Book: Origins
Trainwreck opens in U.S. theaters on July 17th, 2015, followed by Geostorm on October 21st, 2016, and The Jungle Book: Origins on October 6th, 2017.