Last year, Disney scored huge with their remake of “The Jungle Book.” The film was a hit with critics and fans, raking in almost $1 billion worldwide. Everyone was excited at the success of the film, except maybe for one person – Andy Serkis. The fan-favorite actor, best known for his motion-capture performances, has been hard at work on his own “The Jungle Book” film at Warner Bros., marking his second directorial following this year’s “Breathe.” Many have wondered if there is really room for two live-action “Jungle Book” films. If you believe Andy Serkis, these two films are not even remotely similar.
“Well, ours is using performance capture and theirs didn’t. Ours is shot on location, it’s in real locations, we shot in South Africa,” he told Screen Rant. “[The film] is very much more like live-action photography… We have these actors who played the animals as opposed to [just voicing] the animals, so there’s a great difference in that. The way of embodying that character and owning that role all the way through the conception and authorship of the role. [This version], as [in] the book, is grounded in India. It’s colonial and turn of the century, so it has that sort of authenticity and I suppose that sense of [being] closer to Rudyard Kipling’s world.”
So, basically, Serkis is saying that his version of the talking animal jungle movie will be more realistic than Disney’s version of the talking animal jungle story. Okay, sounds good. While the Disney version may not have used performance capture, most everyone can agree that the CGI at work in that film was still remarkable. If Serkis believes his film will look better, that will definitely turn some heads. He adds that it’s made for older audiences, and more crucially, is more in line with the tone of Rudyard Kipling’s book.
This is where he gets to the point of the matter. Before now, many wondered what the big difference would be between the films. Disney basically remade their already-classic animated film, but added a few bits and pieces. Serkis is saying his film is much more in line with the original source material.
The question remains, do people want a talking animal jungle movie that’s dark and serious? Will older audiences embrace this film? These are valid questions, and we won’t get any real answers until we see more from the Serkis film. As of right now, it’s hard to imagine people warming up to a version of “The Jungle Book” where there’s no singing or silliness. One thing is for sure, the cast attached to the film is incredible. Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Freida Pinto, and Naomie Harris are all featured in the film, alongside Serkis himself.
After a few delays, Andy Serkis’ “The Jungle Book” is set to be released on October 19, 2018.