Welcome to “Flipping the Script,” a monthly column where I will reconsider recent films that have been panned, frowned upon, or simply under appreciated. I believe that movies should speak to us on a deep, personal level, and this column will consist of films that have done that for me despite widespread derision or apathy. Join me on my noble quest for cinematic redemption! This month we go on the search for the Third Star!
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Benedict Cumberbatch has signed on to The Jungle Book as the voice of Shere Khan, the man-eating tiger who serves as Mowgli’s adversary. This Warner Bros. adaptation isn’t the only Jungle Book that’s in production, as director Jon Favreau is on board Disney’s version of The Jungle Book.
The Warner Bros. film will be directed by Andy Serkis, whose motion capture work as Gollum and Caesar should lend itself well to the ambitious rendering of Rudyard Kipling’s classic. Both Serkis and Cumberbatch worked together on The Hobbit pictures.
Cumberbatch, who was seen last year in Star Trek Into Darkness, is known as a nattily dressed individual. He explains in the following audio clip why he has an affinity for Spencer Hart’s sense of style, especially when it comes to Savile Row suits.
Chris Pine follows in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck as the titular agent in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Taking on iconic roles isn’t foreign to Pine, who continued his journey as Captain James Tiberius Kirk in last year’s Star Trek Into Darkness.
With this latest installment, Mr. Ryan is getting his feet wet in the CIA, as he gets entangled in a battle of wills against a vengeful Russian terrorist (Kenneth Branagh, who also directs). Kevin Costner, who was initially offered the role of Ryan for The Hunt for Red October, plays Ryan’s mentor and father figure, and their subtle chemistry is one of the feature’s main strengths.
Although the picture ends with an epic action moment, the most viscerally engaging sequence occurs during a hotel room showdown between Pine and co-star Nonso Anozie (from TV’s Dracula). “I like the fact that Jack, as much as he had training in the Marines, isn’t a trained killing professional,” says Pine. “It was kind of a MacGyver moment of trying to figure out how to defeat the large bad guy when you’re not quite as big or you’re not quite as ferocious.”
Click on the Soundcloud audio below to hear Chris Pine talk about doing the hand to hand combat sequence with Anozie. He also talks about riding a motorcycle sans a helmet in New York during another stunt sequences in the film.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit opens nationwide January 17.