1994’s The Jungle Book was the first time Disney turned one of its classic animated films into a live-action feature. Starring Jason Scott Lee as adult Mowgli, Lena Headey as his love interest, and Cary Elwes as the British baddie, the film was a surprisingly dramatic retelling of the Rudyard Kipling story, and featured exotic sets and locations, an effective blend of mature emotion and play, and an impressive supporting cast that included John Cleese and Sam Neill. The film was directed by Stephen Sommers, then only 32, who’d just made another delightful literary adaptation—The Adventures of Huck Finn (featuring my favorite Bill Conti score)—and would go on to make The Mummy films.
I got to interview the great Christopher Guest a few weeks ago for a Variety piece on a 30th anniversary screening of This is Spinal Tap at the New York Film Festival. I used about 5% of the interview in that article—so here’s the other 95. Guest definitely wasn’t the warmest interview, but his reflections on one of the funniest movies ever made are pretty entertaining. Enjoy.