Roughly two years after the Mouse House brought their live-action/CGI remake of The Jungle Book into the wild, Netflix is now unveiling its own rendition of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story. Directed by motion capture supremo Andy Serkis, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle has been in development for a very long time – and was originally housed up at Warner Bros. – but it’s now on the verge of release and to get us excited, the streaming giant has debuted a brand new trailer.
In order to differentiate it from Disney’s effort, Mowgli promises to be “the darkest telling of the beloved classic” yet and from what we can see here, it seems as if we’ll be taking a slightly more mature look at what living life in the jungle would be like.
One big difference that’s made pretty 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 and it seems as if the film’s going to present his dad’s experiences as the inspiration for his famous novel.
Of course, it’s the animals we’re all here for, though, and Mowgli likely won’t disappoint on that front. Serkis himself plays Baloo the bear, Christian Bale will voice 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 fans are most excited to see though is Benedict Cumberbatch, who seems perfectly cast as the terrifying tiger Shere Khan. Honestly, he’s the only other actor out there who we can see voicing the character alongside Disney’s choice of Idris Elba.
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle will definitely have a hard job if it’s to rise above 2016’s The Jungle Book, which made a crazy amount of cash and earned glowing reviews, but it certainly looks promising. The visuals are stunning and the incredible talent in front of and behind the camera speaks for itself. We’ll know soon enough if it can sink or swim though as it begins an exclusive limited theatrical engagement on November 29th before hitting Netflix on December 7th.