The saga of Andy Serkis’ Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is long and complicated. After gathering its director and star-studded cast in 2014, Warner Bros. first scheduled the film to be released in October of 2016. The original title was Jungle Book: Origins (yes, just like the X-Men movie no one wants to remember). Unfortunately, Disney scheduled its own adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s story to be released in April of 2016. Jon Favreau’s lovable version of The Jungle Book was a smash hit, and Serkis’ version was pushed to 2018 to finish visual effects and create more of a time gap.
The differences from the Disney adaptation were clear when the first Mowgli trailer was released earlier this year, in may. Serkis is going for a decidedly darker, more violent and less musical interpretation of the story. That much is reflected in its bold PG-13 rating.
Even if audiences were craving a grittier version of a boy talking to animals, it is apparent that it still feels too soon for another Jungle Book movie. Only a few months ago, Warner Bros. sold the world distribution rights to Netflix. The last minute acquisition can be interpreted as a savvy way to make your movie more accessible to a larger audience. Or as a desperate attempt for a studio to earn guaranteed money instead of praying their investment does not bomb. That’s exactly what Paramount tried, selling foreign distribution rights to the streaming giant.
This week Netflix released a new trailer for the film. With that all too iconic logo flashing at the end now. The film’s set to be released on December 7, with select theatrical screenings the week before. Have a look and let us know what you think in the comments.