“Witness the darkest telling of the beloved masterpiece,” Warner Bros notes at the start of the first full trailer for Mowgli (fka Jungle Book: Origins). Solid take. “I bit and I scratched and I spent my entire life fighting,” the panther Bagheera (Christian Bale) tells the caged boy. “Until one day, I just stopped. And I gained their trust. Gain their trust, little brother.” Solid advice.
Director Andy Serkis’ long-in-the-works Rudyard Kipling adaptation once competed with Disney’s Jon Favreau-helmed The Jungle Book before the latter hit first and made $966M worldwide. Beaten to the start line, the studio allowed Serkis to take his time and hone his vision, even enlisting the help of Alfonso Cuaron as an unofficial advisor.
Here’s the logline: Mowgli follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli (Rohan Chand), 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 (Serkis) 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 (Benedict Cumberbatch). But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins. The cast also includes Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Matthew Rhys and Freida Pinto.
Warner Bros Pictures will open the film October 19. Check out the trailer above and a behind-the-scenes featurette below: