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Harry Potter screenwriter to direct Jungle Book adaptation

30th April 2012

The screenwriter who converted six of the seven Harry Potter books to the big screen is to direct a new film version of Rudyard Kipling's classic tale The Jungle Book.

Steve Kloves will also write the screenplay for the new adaptation of the book, which has never been successfully converted into a live action adventure, despite the enormous success of Disney's 1967 animated feature.

Kloves has a history of adapting novels, having written the screenplay for every Harry Potter film except Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and also being in the midst of converting Mark Haddon's Whitbread Book of the Year winner The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time to the big screen.

The new version of The Jungle Book will be more in keeping with Kipling's novel than previous adaptations, which included two live action Disney versions released to little acclaim in the 1990s.

According to film critic Barry Norman, The Jungle Book has 'never been done justice to' on the big screen.

'The cartoon version was hugely successful, but didn't bear much relation to what Kipling wrote. Kloves is a good writer, it's a wonderful yarn and, nowadays, with the special effects, it should be possible to do it really well,' he added.

It is not the only upcoming film inspired by Kipling's tale, with Neil Gaiman's Carnegie Medal winner The Graveyard Book - a contemporary retelling of The Jungle Book with the action relocated to a cemetery and Mowgli raised by ghosts instead of wolves – also currently being adapted.

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