Jungle Book: Origins – the directorial debut of motion-capture guru Andy Serkis – is in the midst of an increasingly lengthy journey to the big screen. The Warner Bros. project was shifted to an October 2018 release window last year – allowing for an increased post-production period – and since then, we haven’t heard too much about it. Truthfully, there’s a cloud of worry starting to form around the project, and rightfully so, but if there’s one thing that we can at least look forward to, it’s Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance.
The 40-year-old is one of Hollywood’s most bankable leading men at the moment, finding even more popularity after joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe this past November as Doctor Strange. His career is skyrocketing, to be sure, and if Serkis is to be believed, fans are in for quite a treat when they see, or rather, hear him in Jungle Book: Origins. Speaking to Mirror in a recent interview, here’s what the director teased.
Benedict’s phenomenal. He’s really scary. It’s a grounded, full-of-rage, brilliant performance. What’s brilliant about his performance is he’s not just a black-and-white villain. Bizarrely, you actually feel his point of view. It’s quite a nuanced performance. You’ll see him in a new light. The Sherlock fans will be surprised, definitely.”
That last part is especially intriguing, as it indicates that Cumberbatch is going to be doing something quite different here than what we’re used to seeing from him. And though Jon Favreau may have already beaten Andy Serkis to the punch, delivering his own adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s beloved novel last year with The Jungle Book, we’re still curious to see what this alternate take can bring to the table – especially since it’s been billed as a more mature and dark version of the story.
Speaking about what audiences can expect from the film, Serkis said the following last year:
“Ours is for a slightly older audience. It’s a PG-13, more a kind of ‘Apes’ movie, a slightly darker take, closer to Rudyard Kipling’s. It’s great to scare kids in a safe environment because it’s an important part of development, and we all loved to be scared as kids, so we shouldn’t overly protect them.
Kids are so sophisticated, and that is why our ‘Jungle Book’ is quite dark. … It’s a story of an outsider, someone who is trying to accept the laws and customs of a particular way of living and then has to adapt to another culture, a human culture, which of course he should be able to adapt to, because this is what he is. So it’s about two different species and their laws and customs, and neither are entirely right.”
As for Cumberbatch, his Sherlock days may be behind him (most likely), but fans can catch the actor next in Thor: Ragnarok and The Current War, both of which are due to hit theatres later this year.