Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is getting a faithful adaptation with Mowgli, which will set it apart from the recently released live-action version by Disney. There isn’t going to be any singalongs or cuteness, instead it has a darker tone that is more in line with Kipling’s original story. Motion capture maestro Andy Serkis plays Baloo and also doubles as the director this time around and he has just shared some new interesting information about the “bloody imagery” and “dark Baloo” that earned the movie a PG-13 rating from the MPAA.
The original 1967 animated version of The Jungle Book was supposed to follow the source material closer than it did, but Walt Disney didn’t think that it would be appropriate for children. The 2016 remake, directed by Jon Favreau was pretty close to the animated version and didn’t stray too far from the original. However, Andy Serkis had something else in mind entirely while he was making his version of the story. Serkis is keeping close to Rudyard Kipling’s source material and even taking it step further into the darkness.
In a new interview, Andy Serkis reveals that his version of Baloo is dark. This changes from what most people know from the Disney takes on the book and will more than likely come as a pretty big surprise to people when they see it. The 53-year old actor/director also admitted that he likes playing the villain, which is something that he’s quite good at as evidenced in his role as Snoke in The Last Jedi. When talking about Mowgli, Serkis talks about a “tough Baloo.” He explains.
“It’s quite fun being the villain, actually. Especially when finding ways to make the villain appealing in some ways and so, I mean, look, it’s all about the character. But you’ll see me being Baloo. He is quite nice. He is actually quite tough in this one. A dark Baloo. Mowgli that’s the one I’ve been directing which is coming out later this year.”
Mowgli has already earned a PG-13 rating from the MPAA due to the “bloody images,” which already starts to make Andy Serkis’ directorial debut sound promising. Some have bemoaned the fact that the Jungle Book is getting another remake, but it sounds like Serkis’ take on the source material is going to get a bit dark and different enough to standalone away from what Disney has done with the characters in the past.
In addition to Andy Serkis as Baloo, Mowgli also stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Naomie Harris as Nisha, Christian Bale as Bagheera, and Rohan Chand as Mowgli. The movie hits theaters on October 19th and it will be the Jungle Book that we’ve never seen on the big screen before. It will be interesting to see how Disney and Rudyard Kipling fans respond to the new remake. You can read the rest of the interview with Andy Serkis over at The List.