Andy Serkis' Jungle Book Film MOWGLI is Now Being Released on Netflix
Director Andy Serkis' dark film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Mowgli, was supposed to be released by Warner Bros. But, it was just announced that the studio has sold the worldwide rights of the film to Netflix. That's a pretty big and unexpected move! But, Serkis seems happy with the decision. He had this to say in a statement to Deadline in which he hints at a possible theatrical 3D release:
"I’m really excited about Netflix for Mowgli. Now, we avoid comparisons to the other movie and it’s a relief not to have the pressure. I’ve seen the 3D version, and it’s exceptional, a different view from the 2D version, really lush and with great depth, and there will be some kind of theatrical component for that. What excites me most is the forward thinking at Netflix in how to present this, and the message of the movie. They understand this is a darker telling that doesn’t fit it into a four quadrant slot. It’s really not meant for young kids, though I think it’s possible that 10 or above can watch it… I think this is their largest acquisition, it’s a big movie. But I never looked at it as a big blockbuster movie. It’s hard to quantify. It has the scale of a blockbuster, but it’s somewhere between ‘Life of Pi’ and an ‘Apes’ movie. It has that reality to it, same as ‘Okja’ had. We are talking about 2019 and circling dates. Netflix has allowed the film making that I wanted to do to exist, and they’ve created an atmosphere for me kind of storytelling I set out to do."
Serkis obviously sees this whole change as a good thing. It will definitely make watching the movie a lot easier and cheaper!
There was a lot of motion capture work that was done for this film and the actors that fill the roles of the animal characters include Christian Bale as the cunning panther, Bagheera; Cate Blanchett as the sinister snake, Kaa; Benedict Cumberbatch as the fearsome tiger, Shere Khan; Naomie Harris (Skyfall) as Nisha, the female wolf, who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs; Andy Serkis as the wise bear, Baloo; Peter Mullan (Tommy’s Honour) as the leader of the wolf pack, Akela; Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction) as Mowgli’s Brother Wolf; Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan) as Nisha’s mate, Vihaan; and Tom Hollander (Muppets Most Wanted) as the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui.
The human characters in the film will be played by Matthew Rhys (The Americans) as Lockwood; Freida Pinto (Knight of Cups) as Messua; and young actor Rohan Chand (The Hundred-Foot Journey, Bad Words) will play Mowgli.
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.
I am looking forward to watching this movie. It has a great cast and it looks like it could be a solid film. You can watch the trailer for it below. I assume the film will still be released on October 19th.