Andy Serkis has been working on his live-action/motion capture version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book for several years. It is called Mowgli. And, for a while there, it was in direct competition with Disney and Jon Favreau’s live-action take on the classic. Favreau got his film out first, but if anyone thought that that film was a more dangerous, edgy slant on the story… Andy Serkis would like you to kindly hold his beer.
Mowgli has its first trailer and it is dark. It starts with an abused, imprisoned Mowgli fighting for his freedom from a literal cage. The humans have not taken his return to the village very well, it seems. But, it’s not safe for him in the jungle either.
He’s encouraged, by his old friend Bagheera (Christian Bale) to “gain their trust, little brother.” Doing that makes him more human, but it’s clear that the jungle calls him. And, Shere Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) notices. Khaaan!! Get it? He’s Khan again! I’m sorry. I… I couldn’t resist.
It’s a coming of age story in the most dangerous of conditions. He must grow up, but to be what? Mowgli, himself, makes the observation “I am not a man. But, neither am I a wolf.” We’ll have to watch to see what he will be.
Mowgli also stars Andy Serkis (Baloo), Naomie Harris (Nisha), and Cate Blanchett (Kaa), among others.
The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli, raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.
Mowgli will hit theaters October 19th.