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Jungle Book set for big screen version

The celluloid version of Rudyard Kipling's classic fiction will be shot in the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in India.

art and culture Updated: Aug 15, 2007 20:27 IST

Rudyard Kipling's classic, The Jungle Book, is set to be made into a live-action movie.

Pathe and the BBC are joining forces to back a $50 million film version, which will be shot in the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in India.

The project will be directed by BBC natural-history filmmaker John Downer and scripted by Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle.

The film, produced by Michelle Fox, will mix action shot in India with film of trained animals to make them appear to talk.

Downer will intercut the footage shot in India with footage of trained animals shot both on jungle sets in the UK and against bluescreens.

Preparation for the film will start in September, with the entire production process taking two years to complete.

"My ambition is to use pioneering digital and wildlife filming techniques to portray one of the greatest stories of all time just as the author intended - with real live talking animals inhabiting the jungle world of Kipling's India,” the BBC quoted Downer, as saying.

"The script is full of thrills and humour but it also reminds us of our place in nature and our duty to protect the wild places of the world," added the director, whose other credits include the wildlife-based film Pride,” he added.

The new film, which Disney made into a hit cartoon in 1967, is likely to be ready for release in 2009.