A long time ago (in this galaxy) WB announced that they were going to make a Jungle Book movie with Andy Serkis directing a mo-cap heavy film. Then Disney came along and said they were making one too, and then they made one, and then it made a crap ton of money, and then it won a VFX Oscar for basically redefining what we should expect from CGI. Basically Disney looked at WB and made their movie useless. However, Serkis and WB are now moving forward with their version, which should have some breathing room considering Jon Favreau won’t be able to direct Disney’s Jungle Book sequel for a good long while.
In an attempt to distance themselves from Disney’s version WB has renamed the film to Mowgli, which is a way better title than the original Jungle Book: Origins. Mowgli sounds like it could be an interesting film actually focusing on the child with a less cartoonish take on the animals. Jungle Book: Origins just reminds me of a certain X-Men’s terrible film. Serkis himself has said his take will be darker and more realistic slant on the classic story.
However, that’s not quite clear from the synopsis released along with the title change. That basically reads exactly the same as the book and the Disney film.
“The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli, 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 and a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.”
The cast is pretty loaded as well. Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Benedict Cumberbatch headline with a bunch of other names you’ll recognize. It will be interesting to see how Serkis uses his mo-cap experience with the actors as animals. Hopefully he can deliver something that’s different enough from and as good as Disney’s film.