Right now, Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book is tearing up the box office and currently holds a 95% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So where does that leave Warner Bros. adaptation? When we last left the film, which is being directed by Andy Serkis, Warners had brought on Alfonso Cuaron to help shepherd the picture, which had been bumped back a year to October 19, 2018. Keep in mind that the film has an outstanding voice cast that includes Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Naomie Harris.
So how does Serkis hope to differentiate his picture from Disney’s juggernaut? Speaking to Vulture, Serkis says his version is darker than the recent movie, which will also blend live-action and CGI:
“Ours is for a slightly older audience…It’s a PG-13, more a kind of Apes movie, a slightly darker take, closer to Rudyard Kipling’s.” Serkis said that movies these days are too cautious when it comes to children. “Which is wrong,” said Serkis. “It’s great to scare kids in a safe environment because it’s an important part of development, and we all loved to be scared as kids, so we shouldn’t overly protect them.”
“Kids are so sophisticated,” he continued, “and that is why our Jungle Book is quite dark. … It’s a story of an outsider, someone who is trying to accept the laws and customs of a particular way of living and then has to adapt to another culture, a human culture, which of course he should be able to adapt to, because this is what he is. So it’s about two different species and their laws and customs, and neither are entirely right.”
I like the ambiguity at play there, and I think there’s definitely room for more than one Jungle Book movie in the world, especially since it will be a couple years until we see what Serkis has in store.