Andy Serkis’ “Jungle Book: Origins” was supposed to hit last year, but has since been delayed with a 2018 release now being targeted. The delay is said to be in part to distance itself from Jon Favreau’s Disney film which proved a smash hit both critically and commercially last year.
Serkis’ take is said to be much more faithful to Rudyard Kipling’s darker source material. There’s also a big difference in the animation style with the use of mo-cap in real-life locations as opposed to a fully CG animated jungle and creatures with a real kid green screened in.
Speaking with Screen Rant recently, Serkis talked how his version is changing things up:
“Well, ours is using performance capture, and theirs didn’t. Ours is shot on location, it’s in real locations, we shot in South Africa. [The film] is very much more like live action photography… We have these actors who played the animals as opposed to [just voicing] the animals, so there’s a great difference in that.
The way of embodying that character and owning that role all the way through the conception and authorship of the role. [This version], as [in] the book, is grounded in India. It’s colonial and turn of the century, so it has that sort of authenticity and, I suppose, that sense of [being] closer to Rudyard Kipling’s world.”
Serkis says he has no problems with the delays as it has given him plenty of time to get the ambitious project right:
“I’ve got to say that personally I’m absolutely thrilled that Warner Brothers have changed the delivery date of our movie. The ambition for this project is huge. What we are attempting is an unprecedented level of psychological and emotional nuance in morphing the phenomenal performances of our cast into the facial expressions of our animals.”
Alfonso Cuaron reportedly consulted on the project which stars Rohan Chand (Mowgli), Benedict Cumberbatch (Shere Khan), Cate Blanchett (Kaa), Christian Bale (Bagheera), Naomie Harris (Nisha), Tom Hollander (Tabaqui), Peter Mullan (Akela) and Eddie Marsan (Vihaan).
“Jungle Book: Origins” is currently slated to open October 19th 2018.