Published On: Sat, Jul 28th, 2018

Andy Serkis’ Jungle Book film, ‘Mowgli’ sold to Netflix

In a strange and unprecedented move, Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, Mowgli, was purchased up by Netflix, just as it was about to receive a theatrical release from Warner Brothers this fall, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

“Warner Bros. previously had set a release date of Oct. 19 for the film, a gritty live-action/CG retelling of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. It will now debut some time in 2019 on Netflix,” notes THR.

Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book for Disney, which opened to critical acclaim and box office success in 2016, created some heightened pressure for the Serkis project, which comes with an amazing all-star cast.

This film stars Rohan Chand (Mowgli), Matthew Rhys (John Lockwood), and Freida Pinto (Messua) in human, onscreen roles with voice performances by Christian Bale (Bagheera), Cate Blanchett (Kaa), Benedict Cumberbatch (Shere Khan), Naomie Harris (Nisha), Andy Serkis (Baloo), Peter Mullan (Akela), Eddie Marsan (Vihaan), Jack Reynor (Brother Wolf), and Tom Hollander (Tabaqui).

SyFy Wire stated that “While no explicit reason was given for the last-minute acquisition, it could be that Warner got nervous about trying to compete with the existing live-action movie from Disney. It’s a logical fear, especially when you consider that The Jungle Book made more than $960 million at the worldwide box office.”

Check out the first trailer HERE

THR recounted that “Mowgli‘s development dates back to 2012, with a number of directors, including Alejandro Inarritu and Ron Howard, in talks for the project at one point or another. Serkis boarded the project in 2014, which would be his directorial debut, around the same time as Jon Favreau’s Disney live-action remake of the animated 1967 Jungle Book was greenlit.”

Adding: “…By moving to Netflix, Mowgli will at least be able to avoid box office comparisons to Favreau’s Jungle Book, which won the Oscar for visual effects.”

It’s been clear from Serkis that this film would be dark, based more on Kipling’s classic novel, void of musicals and dance sequences.

“This story is about identity. It’s about being other: Mowgli growing up as an other in the world of animals and trying to fit in and then in the world of man, and it takes place in both realms,” he said. “And then the approach was rather than looking at it as a piece of spectacle, it’s a very emotional and dramatic piece about the connection between the animals and Mowgli, and humans and Mowgli.”

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  1. […] known the Andy Serkis Jungle Book project, now titled Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle Book, after Netflix picked up the rights to the film from Warner […]

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