Warner Bros. had been gearing up this film for a big release in October, even releasing a trailer and behind-the-scenes featurette in May as their marketing campaign began to roll out. And then, seemingly out of nowhere in July, they sold the film to streaming giant Netflix in what is one of the company’s biggest acquisitions.
The film stars Rohan Chand (Bad Words) as the titular boy who is raised in the jungle by wolves and finds himself on a journey of discovery to decide where he truly belongs: in the wild or the world of man. The big-name voice cast includes Christian Bale as Bagheera, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Naomie Harris as Nisha and Serkis as Baloo. This marks Serkis’ second feature film as director following the 2017 biopic Breathe.
It looks like an energetic, perhaps grittier take on the classic tale, one that will hopefully be substantially removed from the live-action 2016 version Jon Favreau directed for Disney. We’ll see what we’re in for when Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, also starring Matthew Rhys and Freida Pinto, hits Netflix on December 7. The film is getting limited theatrical runs in the UK from November 29 and in the US from December 7.
Netflix’s official synopsis for Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle:
Acclaimed actor and director Andy Serkis reinvents Rudyard Kipling’s beloved masterpiece, in which a boy torn between two worlds accepts his destiny and becomes a legend. Mowgli (Rohan Chand) has never truly belonged in either the wilds of the jungle or the civilized world of man. Now he must navigate the inherent dangers of each on a journey to discover where he truly belongs. Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, Matthew Rhys and Naomie Harris lead an all-star cast along with newcomer Rohan Chand in this visually spectacular and emotionally moving adventure.