Just two years after Disney released their live-action/CGI remake of The Jungle Book into the wild, Warner Bros. is now unveiling its own rendition of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story. Directed by motion capture supremo Andy Serkis, Mowgli has been in the works for long time and today, we finally have our first look at the movie in the form of its debut trailer.
In order to differentiate it from the Disney film, Mowgli promises to be “the darkest telling of the beloved classic” yet. So it seems that it’ll bring us a slightly more mature look at what living life in the jungle would be like.
One big difference that the trailer makes clear is that there will be many more prominent human characters featured aside from just the titular wolf-boy (played by Rohan Chand). In particular, Matthew Rhys is playing John Lockwood, the father of Rudyard Kipling. Clearly, the film’s going to present his dad’s experiences as the inspiration for his famous book.
It’s the animals we’re all here for, though, and – again, much like the Disney movie – the voice and motion capture cast is bursting with big names. Serkis himself plays Baloo the bear, Christian Bale is Bagheera the black panther and Cate Blanchett is Kaa the snake, with Tom Hollander, Peter Mullan and Naomie Harris as the wolf family that takes in Mowgli as a baby.
Perhaps the star who makes the biggest impression in the trailer though is Benedict Cumberbatch, who seems perfectly cast as the terrifying tiger Shere Khan. He’s probably the only other actor out there who was born to voice the character alongside Disney’s choice of Idris Elba.
As you can tell by how much we’ve referenced the House of Mouse’s recent film, Mowgli will have a tough job rising above 2016’s The Jungle Book, which made a crazy amount of cash and earned glowing reviews. Still, the visuals look equally outstanding and the incredible talent in front of and behind the camera speaks for itself.
We’ll find out if Mowgli can become another lion-sized success when it roars into cinemas on October 19th.