The first trailer for Andy Serkis new movie ‘Mowgli’ was released on Monday. Considered a closer adaptation of Ruyard Kipling’s novel, this Jungle Book movie won’t have you singing like Disney.
If you loved 2016’s The Jungle Book directed by Jon Favreau and your thinking that Mowgli is a sequel, then you would be wrong. Mowgli is a decidedly darker toned movie about the 19th Century tale of a boy who grew up in the jungles of India.
Andy Serkis who directed “Mowgli” also stars as the voice of Baloo the bear your used to hear singing “The Bare Necessities”, but not in this incarnation. By playing Baloo, Serkis is adding another CGI character to his movie resume having played Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings”, Caesar in the recent “Planet of the Apes” trilogy and “Snoke” in two Star Wars movies.
Serkis was recently asked if it was time for a darker take on Kipling’s original novel? Saying…
“I mean, I think that there is an appetite for darker, or should I say more emotionally powerful or resonant metaphor-driven storytelling. For instance, Planet of the Apes. Where there’s a seriousness about them, and we’re not tipping a nod to the audience that everything’s going to be okay. I think we live in such a world that is fraught with danger and fraught with changes, and I think it’s… alongside the big tent pole movies that are lighter and more tentpole-driven, I think there is definitely room for looking at the human condition through a prism which is slightly more serious.”
Serkis was also asked if audiences will find Mowgli and his darker interpretation unique?
“So, it is a completely Mowgli-centric story, our version. And one of the things that fascinated me when I took the job on—which, by the way, was sort of before the Disney one was in the offing, really. I started working around the time they started thinking of doing it. But I love the script that Callie Kloves had written, which was this journey of an outsider, of something is kind of “other,” both in this world—this orphan child was brought up by wolves at a very tender part of his adolescence, and turns back on it in a way, over the years… and is then being forced to assimilate into the world of man. I mean, we never see that—or, we actually have never seen it—where Mowgli goes to live with humans in any other modern interpretation of the movie before. But for me, it was a complicated psychological and emotional journey, where, as I say, the jeopardy and the consequence is real.
And also, I was fascinated with the time the book was written by Rudyard Kipling, himself. Because of that the fabric of our film is layered with what the book is, I think. He’s a much beloved novelist, and author and poet—but others believe him to be a child of the British Empire and therefore potentially, racist, in a sense. So the conflict within the writer himself, and the conflict within the timeline in which the book was written, is sort of doubly layered into our version of the story.”
Here is the voice cast and who they are playing in “Mowgli”
Christian Bale as the cunning panther, Bagheera; Cate Blanchett as the sinister snake, Kaa; Benedict Cumberbatch as the fearsome tiger, Shere Khan; Naomie Harris as Nisha, the female wolf, who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs; Andy Serkis as the wise bear, Baloo; Peter Mullan as the leader of the wolf pack, Akela; Jack Reynor as Mowgli’s Brother Wolf; Eddie Marsan as Nisha’s mate, Vihaan; and Tom Hollander as the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui.
Check out the trailer for “Mowgli” and the Behind the Scenes with Andy Serkis below.
Mowgli opens in theaters on October 19, 2018