Lord of the Rings star and monkey enthusiast Andy Serkis has signed on to direct Warner Bros live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book. Originally, directing duties were assigned to Babel's Alejandro González Iñárritu but he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. After that, talks with Ron Howard also fell through as he is deathly afraid of tigers although he did note he would love to get a canvas The Jungle Book baseball hat if at all possible.

Serkis, whose main experience is walking around hunched over with dots glued to him, previously worked as second unit director on The Hobbit films. The Jungle Book will mark his feature directing debut. It is unknown whether or not he will use his shape-shifting abilities to portray any animals in the film. (THR)