Trailer for ‘Mowgli’ Promises Darkest ‘Jungle Book’ Yet

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The first trailer for “Mowgli,” Andy Serkis’s new version of “The Jungle Book,” shows a darker version of Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale than Disney’s jazzy 1967 animated film or the 2016  version.

We see Mowgli (Rohan Chand) with the wolf family who raised him and facing down the predators of the jungle. Even a tooth-baring Baloo the bear seems all menace from what we see. (Looks like he won’t be singing “The Bare Necessities.”)

We also see Mowgli with a lot more humans than we saw in the Jon Favreau version, including Freida Pinto as Messua, who (in the book) decides to adopt the wild Mowgli, believing that he is her long-lost son.

The animation might not rival the Oscar-winning fx from the 2016 version, but color us intrigued. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Shere Khan here has a fearsome limp (as opposed to the merely scarred tiger voiced by Idris Elba in 2016.) And Cate Blanchett’s Kaa seems much more sinister than Scarlett Johansson’s.

Although we see an elephant in the trailer, no mention is made of Colonel Hathi in the film’s PR. There also doesn’t seem to be a King Louie in this version.

Here’s our first glimpse at the CG animals of the jungle:

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Baloo the bear (Andy Serkis)

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Shere Khan, the man-eating tiger (Benedict Cumberbatch)

Here’s the official synopsis:

The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli raised by a pack of wolves in the jungles of India. As he learns the often-harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own, except by one; the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.

“Mowgli” will be in theaters October 19.

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