Disney has released the first trailer for The Jungle Book, director Jon Favreau’s live-action/CG adaptation of the beloved Rudyard Kipling story. If you expected it to skew close to the classic, cartoonish animated feature from 1967, you’d be way off. Disney is aiming for realistic-looking animals and settings this time around, all the better to build a world in which to situate young Mowgli (Neel Sethi).
The real star of the trailer is Scarlett Johansson as the voice of Kaa, a voice which is every bit as silky and seductive as you’d expect the hypnotic snake to have. We also get glimpses of King Louie grasping for Mowgli in his jungle temple ruins, a brief skirmish between the big cats Shere Khan and Bagheera, and multiple scenes of Baloo defending Mowgli. It’s way more action-packed than I was expecting, but it makes much more sense once you’ve checked out the film’s synopsis. And just in case audiences thought it wouldn’t have the same friendly bear from the original animated film, the trailer ends with a familiar tune and scene to leave you with the feelgoods.
Watch the trailer for The Jungle Book below, along with a few new images. The film opens in theaters on April 15, 2016 and also features the voices of Bill Murray (Baloo), Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Ben Kingsley (Bagheera), Lupita Nyon’o (Raksha), Giancarlo Esposito (Akela), and Christopher Walken (King Louie).
Here’s the official synopsis for The Jungle Book:
Directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of selfdiscovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.
The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world. The wild adventure swings into theaters in 3D on April 15, 2016.