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Andy Serkis' Jungle Book movie gets a new title and plot synopsis

12.20.2017

After Jon Favreau’s take on THE JUNGLE BOOK earned almost a billion dollars worldwide, universal acclaim and an Oscar for best VFX, you wouldn’t be mistaken to think his movie would be the definitive take on the story for quite some time. But although details have remained mum for some time to let the heat from the Disney movie simmer down, Andy Serkis’ version is still on the way at Warner Bros, and the new title for the movie and a plot synopsis have made their way through the trees.

At one point called JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS, the studio has dropped the uninspired title and are now calling it MOWGLI, which is the name of the young human boy who has been taken in to be raised by wolves. Favreau’s version used entirely CGI to create the jungle and animals in the film, but the plot synopsis mentions how Serkis’ take will mesh live-action effects and motion capture:

Blending live action and performance capture, the story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli (Rohan Chand) raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often-harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo (Serkis) and a panther named Bagheera (Christian Bale), Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch). But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins. The other story’s central animal characters are: Kaa, the snake (Cate Blanchett); the leader of the wolf pack, Akela (Peter Mullan); the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui (Tom Hollander); Nisha, the female wolf (Naomie Harris), who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs; Nisha’s mate, Vihaan (Eddie Marsan); and Mowgli’s Brother Wolf (Jack Reynor).

Serkis has been saying for some time that his story will be a bit darker than previous cinematic versions, and the script from Callie Kloves will adhere more closely to the book. On a technological level, the movie will be a different experience, as the actors will be able to bring nuances and personalities to their roles that the actors weren’t entirely able to in Favreau’s version.

Now that’s not to say anything negative or insulting about 2016’s JUNGLE BOOK. The movie was tremendous, and the performances were about as good as any from a voice cast (especially Idris Elba as Shere Khan). But with motion capture, the actors will be able to make the characters more their own, which will make the movie look more like a very polished and expensive-looking play. I think some feared this movie coming out so soon after last year’s movie would be negative, but there will be a great amount of room for comparison between the two. We can have it all in this world!

MOWGLI hits theaters October 19, 2018.

Source: Warner Bros.Empire

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