Netflix has acquired the latest The Jungle Book adaptation, Mowgli from its original distributor Warner Bros.. Directed by Andy Serkis, the film will be now released both on big screens and on Netflix sometime in 2019. (as reported by Deadline)
The film will see a much darker version of Rudyard Kipling’s classic adventure novel The Jungle Book with the adaptation planned to be closer to story’s literary source material, as Serkis had promised.
“When I came on the project, the script commissioned by Warner Bros was very close to the tone of the Kipling book. It was very focused on Mowgli, this outsider, this outcast. The metaphor for the whole movie is otherness, a search for self-identity. In the book, he is this feral child raised in the strong traditions of the wolf pack, and when he gets to the point in life where he realizes they are not his family it’s a cataclysmic moment for him,” Serkis told Deadline.
Unlike Disney’s live-action remake in 2016, the Netflix version will feature no musical numbers and instead focus on the title character as he endures growing up among the animals of the Indian jungle.
Serkis further added, “I wanted to make it of its time and reflect Kipling’s own journey. His first language was [Hindi], and he was brought up in India, and then came to live in England. There, he suffered brutality and bullying because he was an outsider, and I think that sense of otherness came through in his Jungle Book stories and the character of Mowgli.”
The film features a blend of live-action and CGI with the star cast also performing motion capture as they voice different iconic characters from the iconic Kipling story.
Serkis made Mowgli with 3D effects he hopes can be displayed in a theatrical component that will be part of Netflix’s release plans. But here, he will get an enormous global audience and see through his vision for a story that is darker and more dangerous than the one Jon Favreau directed for Disney.
Mowgli includes some noted names starring Rohan Chand as Mowgli, Christian Bale as Bagheera, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Naomie Harris as Raksha, Freida Pinto as Messua, and Andy Serkis as Baloo.
2019 come fast!