Andy Serkis on How ‘Mowgli’ Is a Darker Adaptation of ‘The Jungle Book’

     May 21, 2018

Last week, I got to go to London to speak with director Andy Serkis about his new movie, Mowgli. Based on Ruyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, this new adaptation promises a darker take that’s closer to Kipling’s collection of short stories as it follows the human child Mowgli (Rohan Chand) who is raised by wolf pack but eventually becomes torn between his life in the jungle and the world of men.

During our conversation, Andy Serkis talked about what exactly makes his movie a darker adaptation of The Jungle Book, weaving Indian culture into the narrative, what it’s like doing mo-cap for animals that aren’t hominids like in the Apes movies, how they did the mo-cap in three stages, working with Rohan Chand, and why the biggest secret about mo-cap is that there is no secret.


Image via Warner Bros.

Check out the full interview above with a list of what we talked about below, and click here to see the Mowgli trailer. Mowgli opens October 19th and also stars Christian Bale as the cunning panther, Bagheera; Cate Blanchett as the sinister snake, Kaa;  Benedict Cumberbatch as the fearsome tiger, Shere Khan; Naomie Harris as Nisha, the female wolf, who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs; Andy Serkis as the wise bear, Baloo; Peter Mullan as the leader of the wolf pack, Akela; Jack Reynor as Mowgli’s Brother Wolf; Eddie Marsan as Nisha’s mate, Vihaan; and Tom Hollander as the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui.

Andy Serkis:

  • What makes Mowgli a darker telling of The Jungle Book
  • Weaving Indian culture into the narrative
  • What it’s like doing mo-cap for animals that aren’t hominids
  • Striking the right balance between performance and the VFX
  • How they did the mo-cap process in three stages
  • What it was like working with Rohan Chand
  • Why the biggest secret about mo-cap is that there is no secret

Here’s the official synopsis for Mowgli:

“The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli, raised by a wolf pack 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. All but 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.”

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