Filmmaker circling India-set tale…

THR is hearing that Ron Howard (‘Heart of the Sea,’ ‘Rush’) is in talks with Warner Bros. to take the director’s chair for the studio’s live-action take on ‘The Jungle Book.’

Featuring a screenplay by Callie Kloves, based on the Rudyard Kipling’s collection, the story follows the adventures of an abandoned “man cub” named Mowgli, who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle.

‘Babel’ helmer Alejandro González Iñárritu signed on to direct back in December but had to opt out due to scheduling conflicts with his latest offering, the Michael Keaton-led comedy ‘Birdman.’

Should Howard put pen to paper and commit, he would also produce this new adaptation via his Imagine Entertainment banner.

With Kipling’s collection of India-set tales in the public domain, Disney has a rival re-telling in the works with Jon Favreau (‘Iron Man,’ ‘Elf’) behind the camera directing from a script by Justin Marks.