Andy Serkis wasn’t kidding around when he first declared that his Mowgli movie will be a lot darker than the story Disney told through the Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling’s source material was changed quite a bit when Disney first adapted the story back in 1967. Walt Disney decided to take out some of the darker elements in order to make The Jungle Book an animated movie for all ages. And it worked. The Jungle Book was a huge success for Disney and was again back in the public eye when Jon Favreau directed a live-action version of the story in 2016. However, Andy Serkis has unveiled the first trailer from his Mowgli, which is sticking closer to Rudyard Kipling’s source material.
Disney’s live-action version of The Jungle Book was basically a retelling of the animated version of the story that came out in 1967. Andy Serkis’ Mowgli promises a darker version of the story and the trailer delivers. Benedict Cumberbatch is downright frightening as Shere Khan while Andy Serkis’ Baloo is more of a drill sergeant this time around. Rohan Chand’s performance as Mowgli is perfectly teased in the first trailer, as is Christian Bale as Bagheera.
Andy Serkis directed Mowgli with a script written by Callie Kloves and the movie was originally set to come out in 2016, but Warner Bros. decided to wait to spend more time on the digital effects. Coincidentally, 2016 was the same year that Disney’s live-action version of The Jungle Book hit theaters, which was also a factor in pushing the release date back. Mowgli was first placed into development in 2012 and even had Ron Howard’s name was attached to direct at one point before Serkis stepped up to the task.
According to Andy Serkis, Mowgli will challenge people’s perceptions of the Jungle Book story. While there will be some differences from Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 book, it largely sticks close to the source material. The motion capture maestro’ s dark take on the beloved story has been gaining hype over the last handful of years, which will only grow once the first Mowgli footage starts to spread around online.
Mowgli hits theaters on October 19th and in addition to Andy Serkis, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Rohan Chand, the movie also stars Matthew Rhys, Tom Hollander, Cate Blanchett, Freida Pinto, Peter Mullan, Naomie Harris, Eddie Marsan, and Jack Reynor. Though people have been curious of Serkis’ take on the Jungle Book story, it will be interesting to see how the general public responds to Mowgli. Fans of Rudyard Kipling’s book will more than likely enjoy and appreciate the darker tone, but will it be able to conquer the box office? One thing is for sure: Mowgli certainly looks awesome. You can check out the first trailer of Andy Serkis’ Mowgli below, thanks to Warner Bros.