Andy Serkis Direct 'Jungle Book' Warner

Andy Serkis will direct a live-action version of  “The Jungle Book” for Warner Bros., a move to catch up with Disney’s rival project.

Serkis will also produce with “Harry Potter” scribe Steve Kloves and with Jonathan Cavendish, Serkis’ partner at his London-based production company The Imaginarium. Callie Kloves wrote the adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling stories about a young boy raised by wolves.

The attachment comes with Disney attempting to mount its own “Jungle Book” with Jon Favreau directing and Idris Elba voicing the tiger, Shera Khan. Kipling’s original stories were published in 1894 and are in the public domain.

Warner Bros. had been in talks in December with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for the project.

“The Jungle Book” would be the first feature directing gig for Serkis — although the actor was a second unit director on Peter Jackson’s two “Hobbit” movies, including the barrel chase scene in “The Desolation of Smaug.”

Serkis has been a pioneer in performance capture roles as Gollum in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, as King Kong in Jackson’s “King Kong” and as Caesar in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

Jon Berg is overseeing “The Jungle Book” for the studio.

Serkis is repped by CAA and Gotham/Principal.

THR.com first reported the news.

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