Although he was said to have boarded the project last month, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel, 21 Grams) is no longer planning on directing Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Deadline has the news, suggesting that scheduling was the reason for his sudden departure from the project, likely tied to his plans for the western revenge tale The Revenant.
The Jungle Book was published in 1894 and includes, among a number of other animal-themed stories, the classic tales of an Indian boy named Mowgli who is raised by wolves and lives among the other animals in the jungle.
Walt Disney Pictures previously released an animated version of the film in 1967 and a live-action film in 1994. A new live-action version is also in the works at Disney with Jon Favreau attached to direct from a script most recently drafted by Justin Marks. WB's version, meanwhile, is drafted by Callie Kloves, the daughter of producer Steve Kloves.
Inarritu's next, Birdman, is a comedy starring Michael Keaton, Lindsay Duncan, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. It should receive a release sometime in 2014 through Fox Searchlight.