Disney may have beaten Warner Bros. to the punch when it came to a live-action Jungle Book movie, but it looks as though director Andy Serkis is taking the story in a much, much darker direction with a new film called Mowgli.
Today, Warner Bros. has unveiled the first trailer for Mowgli, which you can watch in the video above!
Serkis, best known for his motion capture work in franchises like Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes, and Star Wars, will be stepping into the role of director for this effects-heavy adventure. This will be Serkis' second time behind the camera in the last two years, following the 2017 release of romantic drama Breathe, starring Claire Foy and Andrew Garfield. Serkis will also be acting in the film as well, taking on the role of Baloo the Bear, who was played by Bill Murray in Disney's version of the story.
The film was announced back in 2012, and went through several different directorial options before landing on Serkis. Steve Kloves, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and Ron Howard were all at least in talks to direct the film at some point, though in March of 2014, it was ultimately handed to Serkis.
Thought it's hitting theaters this fall, Mowgli was filmed in principle back in 2015. The film was initially slated for release in 2016, but was moved back to allow more time for visual effects work, and it's likely that WB wanted to distance itself from Disney's interpretation.
In addition to a performance from Serkis, the film features an all-star voice and motion capture cast that includes Christian Bale as Bagheera, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Naomie Harris as Raksha, Jack Reynor as Brother Wolf, Eddie Marsan as Vihaan, Tom Hollander as Tabaqui, and Peter Mullan as Akela. Rohan Chand will play Mowgli, and both Matthew Rhys and Freida Pinto joined the cast in live action roles.
Are you excited to see this alternate take on Jungle Book? How will it compare to Disney's version of the story? Let us know what you think by dropping a line in the comments below!
Mowgli is set to hit theaters on October 19, 2018.