Andy Serkis’s much-delayed adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book has officially been rechristened Mowgli, Warner Bros announced on Tuesday. The movie, previously titled Jungle Book: Origins, will be released on October 19, 2018.
Kipling’s stories chronicle the exploits of the orphan Mowgli, who grows up in a forest raised by wolves and embarks on a series of adventures with his animal friends.
Serkis’s film is the third cinematic adaptation of Kipling’s stories after Disney’s 1967 animated movie The Jungle Book and Jon Favreau’s 2016 live-action remake of the same name, which was also from the Disney stable. Serkis made his directorial debut this year with the drama Breathe.
Mowgli reportedly is a darker retelling of the story. As the official synopsis declares, Mowgli has bigger problems to deal with than the evil Shere Khan and “there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins”.
Like Favreau’s version, Serkis’s Mowgli blends live action and computer-generated animation. The cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Christian Bale as Bagheera, Cate Blanchett as Kaa and Freida Pinto as Mowgli’s adoptive human mother, Messua. Rohan Chand plays the feral child in the movie.