There’s a new adaptation of The Jungle Book in town, and this one isn’t playing around. Directed by actor and motion-capture performer extraordinaire Andy Serkis, this modern retelling of Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel is about as grim and simultaneously gorgeous as can be.
According to Forbes, the PG-13-rated film is following on the heels of Disney’s own adaptation in 2016—which grossed a stunning $996 million and was directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau. While this certainly seems to indicate a stricter adherence to the source material, it isn’t the loyalty to the book that’s most impressive about this trailer—it’s the shockingly perfect marriage between the voices of the cast with the corresponding beautifully rendered CGI animals they’re portraying.
From the very beginning, it's pretty clear that Christian Bale was a perfect casting choice for the black panther Bagheera. The familiar gravitas and burden resonating from Bale, which infuses Bagheera with the kind of weight and soul that character deserves, seems to justify seeing this in theaters. Of course, Benedict Cumberbatch’s villainous portrayal of Shere Khan seems equally as engaging, as there’s a serious menace in his voice and characterization onscreen.
In terms of plot, you already know—Mowgli revolves around the titular character being raised by wolves, trying to find his place in the jungle, and doing his best not to be eaten by Shere Khan. It’s simultaneously an origin story, a hero’s journey, and what seems to be a dazzling display of Hollywood special effects at their finest. Let's take a look at some of the production, and hear from Serkis himself as to what exactly he set out to accomplish, here.
I, for one, will most definitely see this on the largest screen possible.
Mowgli hits theaters nationwide on October 19, 2018.