[WATCH] Jon Favreau (‘The Jungle Book’) on creating a new Disney classic

“You’re always a bit intimidated when you’re dealing with material that people feel so connected to,” admits Jon Favreau as we chat via webcam (watch above) about his new film “The Jungle Book.” Based on the writing of Rudyard Kipling, this Disney release follows the adventures of Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a young boy raised in the jungle by wild animals. The story was previously adapted by the studio in 1967 as an animated musical classic that is still viewed by children and their parents today.

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“The source material of both are very well known,” he adds, “and there’s incredible divergence between the two of them,” given the changes made by Walt Disney in his version. “So you’re kind of dealing with the memories people have of what they grew up with,” and therefore, “figuring out a way to make them all work together, and take advantage of the technology that’s available, and make an adventure film that would appeal to the audiences that you have to appeal to when you’re making a movie like this,” made for, “a lot of bowling balls to juggle.” The 2016 movie released this past spring also stars the voices of Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, and Christopher Walken.

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The actor-turned-director has made a name for himself in recent years helming such diverse features as “Elf” (2003), “Iron Man” (2008), and “Chef” (2014). He previously competed at the Emmys as a producer on the nonfiction series “Dinner for Five” (2001). He accepted the prize for Hollywood Blockbuster of the year a few weeks ago at the Hollywood Film Awards. Will his first Oscar nomination for directing be next? Check out our full interview above for more about his work on “The Jungle Book.”

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Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. How do you think “The Jungle Book” will do with academy voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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