'The Jungle Book' Featurette: Why Jon Favreau Wanted To Retell This Classic Story

Jon Favreau's last two major releases, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, were disappointments for some filmgoers. But after those minor missteps, the director of ElfZathura, and Iron Man quickly bounced back with his last feature, Chef. Now Favreau's next upcoming film is The Jungle Book, which is possibly his biggest film to date.

Below, watch The Jungle Book featurette, in which the director and cast discuss the reimagining.

Yesterday we saw a clip from the film, featuring Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba) threatening young Mowgli (Neel Sethi). For such a CGI-heavy film, the effects felt rather seamless. In the new featurette, Favreau says technology has finally reached a place to create photorealistic CG animals, making this the right time to reimagine The Jungle Book.

But, more importantly than CGI, there had to be an reason to make a modern day version of The Jungle Book. Although this footage teases the technical wizardry of the film, it focuses more on the story and Favreau's ambition to make a grand piece of spectacle.

Here's The Jungle Book featurette:

The superb cast and their passion aside, it's the score and the cinematography in this featurette that has me interested. John Debney's booming, threatening piece of music that arises when Shere Khan first appears is absolutely striking, and it's a perfect theme for the imposing tiger. As for the cinematography, DP Bill Pope, who worked on The MatrixScott Pilgrim vs. The WorldSpider-Man 2, and more, shot the film. As Favreau and the cast says, they have a good story to tell, and who better to help tell it than cinematographer extraordinaire Bill Pope?

Here's the official synopsis for The Jungle Book:

Directed by Jon Favreau ("Iron Man"), based on Rudyard Kipling's timeless stories and inspired by Disney's classic animated film, "The Jungle Book" is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who's been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he's ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of selfdiscovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don't exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.

The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong'o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack's alpha male Akela. "The Jungle Book" seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world. The wild adventure swings into theaters in 3D on April 15, 2016.

The Jungle Book opens in theaters April 15th.