Here’s a blast from the past with a unique modern day twist. Motion capture and live action are blended for “Mowgli,” (not to be confused with The Jungle Book movie, which I thoroughly enjoyed) a new, big-screen, 3D adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic The Jungle Book. The film features an impressive roster of stars under the direction of Andy Serkis.
A much darker take on the classic, 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 actors performing the roles of the story’s central animal characters are: Oscar winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter,” the “Dark Knight” Trilogy) as the cunning panther, Bagheera; Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine,” “The Aviator”) as the sinister snake, Kaa; Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game,” “Avengers: Infinity War”) as the fearsome tiger, Shere Khan; Oscar nominee Naomie Harris (“Moonlight,” “Skyfall”) as Nisha, the female wolf, who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs; and Andy Serkis (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) as the wise bear, Baloo. On the human side, Matthew Rhys (“The Post”) is Lockwood; Freida Pinto (“Knight of Cups”) is Messua; and young actor Rohan Chand (“The Hundred-Foot Journey,” “Bad Words”) will play Mowgli, the boy raised by wolves.
Rounding out the cast are Peter Mullan (“Tommy’s Honour”), as the leader of the wolf pack, Akela; Jack Reynor (“Transformers: Age of Extinction”), as Mowgli’s brother Wolf; Eddie Marsan (TV’s “Ray Donovan”), as Nisha’s mate, Vihaan; and Tom Hollander (“Breathe”) as the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui.
An old classic that will be familiar to many, myself included. This looks promising and can’t wait to check it out when it officially comes out on the 19th October.