Warner Bros. has just announced that their own take on The Jungle Book with Andy Serkis as a director is getting retitled. Instead of previous title Jungle Book, the movie will now be known as Mowgli. The movie, which is on track to be released on October 19, 2018, has had numerous delays and changes in the delivery dates in recent years. But, according to Serkis, it will be well worth your time.
“I’ve got to say that personally, I’m absolutely thrilled that Warner Brothers have changed the delivery date of our movie,” said Serkis. “The ambition for this project is huge. What we are attempting is an unprecedented level of psychological and emotional nuance in morphing the phenomenal performances of our cast into the facial expressions of our animals… This is truly next generation storytelling, and it will be the real deal!”
Warner Bros. started working on the adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book in 2012. At the time Steve Kloves was attached as a director, producer, and writer. Eventually, Kloves ended up being just a producer, while Andy Serkis took on the directing role in March 2014. In August of the same year, the cast – including Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, and Cate Blanchett – was announced. The movie was originally set for release in October 2016, just to be moved to October 2017 in order to give the crew more time to work on the visual effects, and then again to October 2018.
In the meantime, Disney was working on their own adaptation titled The Jungle Book, which was released in April 2016. Directed by Jon Favreau and starring Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, and Scarlett Johansson among others, the movie went on to become both critical and commercial success. Did Serkis do enough besides changing the title, to make set his movie apart from this one – We will have to wait a bit longer to find out.