Motion-capture master Andy Serkis is tackling a familiar subject with his next project, "Mowgli," an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling novel "The Jungle Book." But as the actor-director explains, his film will be decidedly different from the more lighthearted versions that most moviegoers know.
The first trailer for the live-action/CGI hybrid is a visual feast, featuring impressive effects that bring the film's animal cast to life. Those creatures are portrayed in painstaking detail thanks to motion-capture performances from some high-profile humans, including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, and Serkis himself. And newcomer Rohan Chand is a standout as the titular mancub.
As viewers can no doubt tell from the trailer, "Mowgli" isn't Disney's "Jungle Book" (neither the 1967 animated version, nor the 2016 CGI/live-action remake), differentiating itself by adhering more closely to the original Kipling source material. As Serkis notes of his flick in an accompanying featurette, "There's no singing or dancing by the animals, that's for sure."
Part of the director's mission with "Mowgli" was to "shatter ... preconceptions" about the story, Serkis said. Based on this first trailer, it looks like he's well on his way to achieving that goal.
"Mowgli" is due in theaters on October 19.