TV & FILM
brian-mcgee - May 22, 2018
Are you super into this new sub-genre of films where a barely clothed prepubescent boy is surrounded by vicious animals? Well then, weirdo, have I got news for you! 2016's The Jungle Book grossed nearly a billion dollars for Disney, so why wouldn't Warner Brothers want to get in on that sweet, sweet public domain adaptation business.
Andy Serkis, the man who brought you Gollum, Caesar the Ape, and Supreme Leader Snoke, steps behind the camera to direct this mostly cgi adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's horrendously racist novel which has been re-titled, simply, Mowgli. I'm almost positive that Disney owns the copyright to the Jungle Book title, and King Louie, and probably Mowgli's red loincloth or some other weird trademarked thing.
Stepping into the title role is Rohan Chand, whom you may remember from Jason Bateman's flick Bad Words, or not, probably. Like Disney's production, they've spared no expense with the voice and mo-cap cast: Christian Bale plays Bagheera the Panther, Cate Blanchett slithers into the role of the snake Kaa, Bandisnatch Cummerbund is the villainous Shere Khan, and Serkis himself plays the lovable bear Baloo, who is legally not allowed to mention the bare necessities of life.
The way they're selling this one is that it's "darker." I needed italics, bold, and quotation marks to really emphasize how dark they want this to be... within the family friendly confines of a PG-13 rating, of course. Because the average mindless, ticket buying parent can tell the difference.
My money's on this being the latest high concept big money flop for WB. They did it with King Arthur and Geostorm last year, Jupiter Ascending and Pan in 2015, Transcendence in 2014, the list goes on. Nobody's gonna want to spend money to see the same movie they saw done—pretty damn well—two years ago. I question a lot of what Warner Brothers does, but this might make the least amount of sense of anything they've done in a while. Mowgli opens October 19, the same day as the Halloween rebootquel.
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