Andy Serkis says Mowgli movie is closer to Kipling's vision

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 21 May 2018
Andy Serkis at The Last Jedi world premiere

Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis has revealed that 'Mowgli' - his interpretation of Rudyard Kipling's 'The Jungle Book' book - will show the "man-cub" try and live in the Indian village after he leaves the wild

Andy Serkis says 'Mowgli' is different to previous 'Jungle Book' films because you get to see him try and "assimilate into the world of man".

The 54-year-old star has directed the upcoming live action adventure, which is based on Rudyard Kipling's 1894 tome 'The Jungle Book' which is about Shere Khan the tiger's quest to kill "man-cub" Mowgli to rid him from the wild, where he has been raised by wolves and Bagheera the black panther, who discovered him abandoned as a baby.

The story was famously made into a beloved animation in 1967 by Disney and then was recreated as a CGI extravaganza by Jon Favreau in 2016.

Serkis accepts that comparisons will be made between the versions but says his interpretation is much closer to Kipling's original story and also focuses on more of Mowgli's journey.

In an interview on 'This Morning', he said: "It's much closer to the tone of Rudyard Kipling's book and it takes into account the world that Kipling was living in. It's set in 19th century colonial India and it really has that feel and flavour. It's a live action movie so we shot on location. It took almost four years to make. We wanted to put some space between us and Jon Favreau's Disney film, I must say though they are completely different movies you can't really compare the two.

"For instance, we built jungle sets at Leavesden Studios where 'Harry Potter' was filmed and then we went to South Africa and created - and this is the biggest difference between this and the other movie - an entire village in South Africa, south of Durban. In this film we see Mowgli try and assimilate himself into the world of man in the Indian village."

The film has an all-star cast who have provided the motion capture, including Christian Bale as Bagheera, Cate Blanchett as Kaa and

Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan.

Serkis - who created The Imaginarium Studios production company which specialises in motion capture technology - admits morphing the actors likenesses with the animals they play provided a wealth of unique challenges.

The actor - who plays Baloo - said: "The idea of creating believable talking animals is something that I've been using motion capture technology to do, and the movie business has, for 15 to 20 years. One of the biggest challenges was to do it for different animals. When you think about apes to create a human performance and then translate it to an ape is actually quite difficult but when you're thinking about tigers, bears and panthers, you have to design the animals very, very cleverly. If you imagine of a picture of Christian Bale and a picture of a panther and then morphing his face gradually into a panther slowly at some point you find a sweet spot in the design when you see both the actor and the creature, that and then the perfecting of that with the animators in post-production creates a brilliant thing. They've done an extraordinary job and taken this type of animation to another level."

Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Mowgli' is scheduled for release this October.

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle

  • 2018
  • UK/US
  • 1h 44min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Andy Serkis
  • Cast: Rohan Chand, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Andy Serkis, Matthew Rhys, Freida Pinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Mullan, Jack Reynor, Eddie Marsan, Tom Hollander
  • UK release: 7 December 2018

Another live-action retelling of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, this time directed by Gollum himself, Andy Serkis.

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