Elevator Pitch – An Urban Paranormal “Jungle Book” Adaptation

PitchGet this: A young human boy raised in the city by a family of lycanthropes finds himself hunted by a human-hating weretiger.

What is it? A feature film, urban fantasy adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, using the anthology’s episodic structure in a Tarantino style, letting the setting have a strong presence alongside the main story of Mowgli, using side-tales like that of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and Toomai.

OnTheJungleBooke notable feature of Kipling’s book is that most of the main characters are carnivorous animals, wolves, tigers, snakes, a bear, a mongoose. In this adaptation, the non-carnivorous animals would be represented by normal humans, the elephants being the working class folks who keep the city running and the Bandar-log being the city’s administrative bureaucracy.

Yet, among the humans are the bane of werebeasts: a witch family whose fire magic (the “red flower”) is one of the few things that can kill a werecreature. Shere Khan knows that Mowgli is from the the Red Flower tribe, and sets out to drive him from the city.

The adaptation would follow Kipling’s sequence except that the opening story, “Mowgli’s Brothers,” would be broken up and interspersed between the other tales so that the main tension of the film would be the famous conflict between Mowgli and Shere Khan.

The other stories—those of the White Seal, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Toomai, etc.—could be tweaked to link them to the main plotline. Mowgli could receive some assistance from the seals, the cobras that the mongoose vanquished could be in league with Shere Khan, and Toomai the elephant-handler could provide a connection to the keepers of the city’s infrastructure.


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