Over the course of the last few years, we have seen Hollywood bring a darker edge to some classic children's tales. In 2016, Jon Favreau and Disney did that with The Jungle Book, but we've only scratched the surface of the maturity of that particular universe. On that note, a trailer for Andy Serkis' Mowgli has officially debuted online, and the preview promises nothing less than a brooding and mature take on the beloved story by Rudyard Kipling. Check out the trailer for the upcoming PG-13 Warner Bros. film, below.
So, this most certainly is not your childhood take on The Jungle Book narrative. Based on that footage, it looks like Mowgli is going to lean hard into the titular hero's origins with the wolves and his guidance under the tutelage of Bagheera (Christian Bale). The footage shown in that trailer shows Mowgli going on some wild adventures, with a very mature and hard-hitting take on the action and violence. Also worth noting is the menace that Benedict Cumberbatch brings to the table as Shere Khan, who arguably seems even more scarred and monstrous than the version portrayed by Idris Elba in Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book from 2016.
Another thing worth paying attention to in this trailer for Mowgli is the strength of the CGI work. The landscapes are sweeping and exotic, and the mo-cap performances of the animals look absolutely brilliant. This should come as no surprise, as director Andy Serkis has become one of the most well-established and beloved mo-cap actors currently working today. He has proven time and time again that he knows how to deliver fantastic computer-generated performances with his roles in projects like War for the Planet of the Apes and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Mowgli looks no different. That said, considering how new he is to the realm of directing, the fact that Mowgli seems as polished as it does is something to behold.
Despite the increased maturity and emphasis on darker themes, what we know about Mowgli indicates that it will generally line up with the arc of the classic story. Specifically, Mowgli will focus on the young boy's journey through the jungle as he learns to survive under the guidance of Bagheera and the lovable and wise bear known as Baloo (Andy Serkis, because of course he's getting in on the mo-cap action). Along the way, the boy will find himself chased by a variety of vicious and deadly animals as he gradually learns the tragic truth behind his past with the humans and finds a place for himself between humankind and the animal kingdom.