Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book set the bar pretty high not only for future adaptations of Rudyard Kipling‘s novel of the same name but also for filmmakers who will use the same stunning crystal clear visual technology that had audiences awestruck.
So there are a lot of eyes on Andy Serkis‘s Jungle Book: Origins, which uses pretty much the same-level star power and will employ a higher-level of visual effects given that Serkis is the one who is behind the camera. Warner Bros. recently decided to push the release date for the film. While that may have been a worry for some, the director says the new date would help him with perfecting the visuals for this very ambitious project, which he says will be “breaking new ground with realistic non-humanoid animal faces” and “convincingly communicate with human language and emotion via performance capture, and are able to stand up to real scrutiny in richly complex dramatic scenes.”
Now he is also talking about the film’s tone, which he says will be “dark” and explore a few different themes that Disney’s film didn’t. More on the story below.
In an interview with Vulture, Serkis said his film will be different from previous iterations and will be closer to the source material:
“It’s a PG-13, more a kind of Apes movie, a slightly darker take, closer to Rudyard Kipling’s.
It’s great to scare kids in a safe environment because it’s an important part of development, and we all loved to be scared as kids, so we shouldn’t overly protect them. Kids are so sophisticated, and that is why our Jungle Book is quite dark. … It’s a story of an outsider, someone who is trying to accept the laws and customs of a particular way of living and then has to adapt to another culture, a human culture, which of course he should be able to adapt to, because this is what he is. So it’s about two different species and their laws and customs, and neither are entirely right.”
It’s really no surprise that Serkis would want to tell a different version of the story. You can only have a Jungle Book movie about a feral boy and his singing bear friend so many times. But Favreau’s casting was nothing short of stellar, with Idris Elba’s smooth and velvety voice providing some form of fear. Along with the sense of excitement and adventure, that fear intensified on a PG level.
Alfonso Cuarón was recently brought in to help consult on the film. No doubt his knowledge in using visual effects effectively in Gravity will be put to good use.
Of course with him being able to work on a film with the intent of it being released with a PG-13 rating, Serkis has a little bit of leeway to work with if he wants to make the film darker and more brutal.
Written by Callie Kloves, Jungle Book: Origins is said to be a much darker take than Disney’s recent adaptation. The film stars Serkis as Baloo, Christian Bale as Bagheera, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Tom Hollander as Tabaqui, and Cate Blanchett as Kaa. Relative newcomer Rohan Chand will play Mowgli.
Jungle Book: Origins will hit theaters on October 19, 2017.