The man-cub plays Holi in a still from Mowgli.(YouTube)
The man-cub plays Holi in a still from Mowgli.(YouTube)

First Mowgli trailer is here, and it’s darker than any Jungle Book you’ve seen

The first trailer for Warner Bros and Andy Serkis’ Mowgli teases the darkest version of The Jungle Book we’ve ever seen.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 22, 2018 09:27 AM IST

The first trailer for Andy Serkis’ long-delayed adaptation of The Jungle Book, recently retitled Mowgli, was released online on Tuesday, and it teases the ‘darkest telling of the beloved masterpiece’ we’ve seen.

The two-and-a-half minute trailer takes us back to a familiar world, populated by characters we’ve known all our lives, but with a noticeably dark twist. From the opening frames, we see Mowgli being caged by villagers, we see him as the feral child that he is, and we see the cruelty with which he is treated by the men and women who consider him an outsider.

But he doesn’t belong among human beings. Mowgli belongs in the jungle, and that is where the trailer begins to resemble the story we know. Although they are few and far between, there are several glimpses of a more vibrant adventure hidden beneath the dreary tone of this adaptation.

It is similar in style to another recent Warner Bros update of a classic, The Legend of Tarzan.

Mowgli, which was shot back in 2015, was initially called The Jungle Book, but was beaten to the punch by Disney’s massively successful 2016 film. Serkis, who was supposed to make his directorial debut with the film, made (and released) another while effects were being worked on. In 2017, he teased that the film’s new working title was Mowgli: Tales from the Jungle Book. It was also called Jungle Book: Origins for a while, before they settled on Mowgli.

Freida Pinto as Messua in Mowgli.
Freida Pinto as Messua in Mowgli.

Like Jon Favreau’s Disney film, Mowgli also features a formidable cast. Christian Bale voices Bagheera, Benedict Cumberbatch plays Shere Khan and Cate Blanchett plays Kaa. Serkis, a veteran of motion capture acting, plays Baloo, while Rohan Chand plays Mowgli.

The film’s live action cast includes Serkis’ Planet of the Apes co-star, Freida Pinto. Mowgli is scheduled for release on October 19.

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