Disney's Next Reboot Disaster: 'The Jungle Book'

Today in show business news: Disney has another reboot kind of a thing in the works, Meredith Vieira's back on TV next year, and people are mad at Joan Rivers.

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Well, don't say we didn't warn you. In the aftermath of The Lone Ranger's epic bellyflop, Disney is steamrolling ahead with the business of reinventing old things. Their latest victim is The Jungle Book, perhaps best known as the 1967 animated Disney musical, but of course based on Rudyard Kipling's problematic children's stories. Well, the movie's problematic too. It's all problematic. Sick of the word problematic? Good, you should be. Anyway, the point is that Disney is looking to make a live-action version of the tale, about a boy raised by wolves in the jungle who then comes under the care of various other jungle animals. It doesn't seem likely that Disney will make the movie a musical, but the studio will have to find some way to distinguish their Jungle Book from the Jungle Book that Warner Bros. has planned. Yes, warring Jungle Books! Which one will be the Deep Impact and which will be the Armageddon? Whichever one has Tea Leoni and Vanessa Redgrave will be the better one, is the point. (Deep Impact is so good, guys. Tea Leoni is so good in it. And it has such a smart script for a sorta-cheesy disaster flick. Go watch it now! Immediately! Stop reading this!) So, are you excited about this? You should be. Because Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful were so good, right? Disney's been on a tear updating the classics lately, so why stop now. Bring on Mowgli! No, no, Pete Wentz, take your kid back. The other Mowgli. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Speaking of reboots, Meredith Vieira is coming back to TV. Well, she's on Millionaire right now but not for much longer. She'll be the host of her own talk show starting next year, NBCUniversal announced today. She's already shot a pilot for the show, which Deadline says will be light in tone. Well, good. Really hard to do a serious talk show. I mean even Oprah got crazy once in a while. So, will you watch Meredith's show? And will it be fun to have her on daytime TV, competing with fellow former Today anchor Katie Couric? I think that part will be interesting at least, if not the actual show. Talk shows are just so... boring, aren't they? I miss the days of Jenny Jones and Richard Bey and the first version of Ricki Lake. Those were the good talk show days. Now everything's so clean, so sterile. Though, I guess Maury Povich is still kicking, isn't he. What a weird life that guy has. Don't do that, Meredith. It's not worth it. [Deadline]

Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel is in talks to star in the next film from Neil Blomkamp, the District 9 director whose Elysium comes out next month. That would be awfully exciting for young Dev. District 9 was a terrific film, and Elysium looks good so far. This new movie is called Chappie, which, OK, not a great name, but that's OK. Names can change. The movie is based on a short that Blomkamp made about robots policing the slums of South Africa. Blomkamp's actor pal Sharlto Copley is playing a robocop in the movie, while Patel would play one of the poor people in whatever poor town the cyber squad is patrolling. Presumably exciting things will happen and both robot and human will change and grow. Sounds good! [The Hollywood Reporter]

The writers for E!'s inexplicably still-running Fashion Police are striking because the network isn't giving them union benefits, and they reached out to the show's most famous host, Joan Rivers, for support. But she denied them! They are shocked and hurt and so they have made a video expressing their hurt and anger. Sad to hear that she's kind of a jerk, but not that surprising, right? I mean, it's really just not. [The Hollywood Reporter]

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