Andy Serkis Claims His Jungle Book Will Be Darker, Scarier

Posted by at 12:23 pm on May 17, 2016


Director Andy Serkis‘ upcoming Jungle Book movie is — much like DC from Marvel movies — hoping to distinguish itself by going down a darker path than its Walt Disney Pictures rival Jungle Book film, which has already grossed $828 million worldwide. Serkis told Vulture of this tonal difference between Jon Favreau’s film and his, which isn’t slated to hit theaters until October 19, 2018.

“Ours is for a slightly older audience,” Serkis said. “It’s a PG-13, more a kind of ‘Apes’ movie, a slightly darker take, closer to Rudyard Kipling’s. It’s great to scare kids in a safe environment because it’s an important part of development, and we all loved to be scared as kids, so we shouldn’t overly protect them. Kids are so sophisticated, and that is why our ‘Jungle Book’ is quite dark. … It’s a story of an outsider, someone who is trying to accept the laws and customs of a particular way of living and then has to adapt to another culture, a human culture, which of course he should be able to adapt to, because this is what he is. So it’s about two different species and their laws and customs, and neither are entirely right.”

Based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic stories, Jungle Book marks the feature film directorial debut of Serkis, who will also play Baloo. The Warner Bros. film also stars Freida Pinto, Matthew Rhys and Rohan Chand in live-action roles with Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jack Reynor and Tom Hollander all set for performance capture parts.

Jungle Book is written by Callie Kloves with Serkis directing and co-producing with Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves. Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) will also give notes on the project as an uncredited advisor. Production on the film has reportedly already been completed. Quite a lot could theoretically still change between now and the film’s release, however, given what is sure to be a long, VFX-heavy post-production process.


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