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Film News Roundup: Andy Serkis’ ‘Jungle Book: Origins’ Retitled ‘Mowgli’ by Warner Bros.

In today’s film news roundup, Andy Serkis’ Jungle Book movie has been retitled “Mowgli,” the Art Directors Guild honors a pair of Disney animators and 30 Project Involve participants are announced.

NAME CHANGE

Warner Bros.’ has changed the name of the Andy Serkis live-action Jungle Book movie from “Jungle Book: Origins” to “Mowgli.”

The studio made the announcement Tuesday. Serkis is directing the movie, which will open on Oct. 19, 2018 — more than two years after Disney launched its live-action version of “The Jungle Book” with Jon Favreau directing. The project is based on Rudyard Kipling series “The Jungle Book,” which follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli, raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India.

Voice cast includes Christian Bale as Bagheera, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Naomie Harris as Nisha, Andy Serkis, Baloo, Peter Mullan as Akela, Jack Reynor as Mowgli’s Brother Wolf, Eddie Marsan as Vihaan, Tom Hollander as Tabaqui, Freida Pinto as Messua, and  Matthew Rhys as Lockwood.
GUILD HONORS
Ron Clements and John Musker, the Walt Disney Animation Studios partners behind “Moana” and “The Princess and the Frog,” will receive the William Cameron Menzies Award from the Art Directors Guild.

The honor will be presented at the 22nd Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards on Jan. 27 in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland.

“Both Clements and Musker’s love of animation have brought us legendary worlds of imagination,” said ADG President Nelson Coates. “The ADG is thrilled to honor their efforts, talents and achievements as they continue to blaze creative trails in animation and to be leaders in Disney’s artistic evolution over the decades. They are masters of their craft and part of the technical innovations in the art form.”

Clements and Musker were nominated for Academy Awards for the Best Animated Feature Film for “Moana” and “The Princess and the Frog.” Their credits include “Hercules,” “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Great Mouse Detective.”

FILM INDEPENDENT

Film Independent has selected 30 filmmakers for Project Involve, the organization’s signature diversity mentorship program.

Popular on Variety

During the nine-month program, participants meet one-on-one with film industry mentors, create short films, attend master-workshops taught by top film professionals and industry networking events. The 2018 Project Involve participants were selected based on the quality of their projects, their passion, vision, talent, and commitment to pursuing a career in the film industry.

This year’s Project Involve Fellows by track are:

Cinematographers: Bruce Cole, Ante Cheng, Michael Dallatorre, Bongani Mlambo and Zamarin Wahdat.

Directors: Sam Bailey,Marques Green, Faren Humes, Iesh Thapar, Daniel Willis

Editors: Shayar Bhansali, Autumn Dea, Ruben Navarro, Steph Zenee Perez

Executives: Jamilah Alston, Sheri Bradford, Kimberly Han

Producers: Ashim Ahuja, Katherine Fisher, Melina Lizette, Mariyam Mahbub, Diego Najera, Yu-Hao Su, Diana Ward

Writers: Tasha Henderson, Sahar Jahani, Henry “Hank” Jones, Kase Pena, Jessica Shields

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