Monday 23 September 2019

WATCH: First teaser for Andy Serkis' Mowgli is absolutely breathtaking

Our own Jack Reynor joins Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomi Harris among voice cast

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The first trailer for Mowgli, based on Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, has landed and it looks breathtaking.

Andy Serkis directs the flick which blends motion capture and live action and features the voices of several A-listers as the animal characters opposite young star Rohan Chand as Mowgli.

Christian Bale voices the character of Shere Khan in Mowgli
Christian Bale voices the character of Shere Khan in Mowgli

The first look is simply stunning with Christian Bale featuring as the cunning panther Bagheera, Oscar winner Cate Blanchett as the snake Kaa, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Naomi Harris as female wolf Nisha who adopts Mowgli as one of her cubs, our of Jack Reynor as Mowgli's brother Wolf and Andy Serkis as the bear Baloo.

Mathew Rhys and Freida Pinto star as humans Lockwood and Messua.

Speaking about how the film differs to previous big screen adaptations of The Jungle Book, Serkis says Mowgli allows viewers to see him try to "assimilate into the world of man".

The story was famously made into a beloved animation in 1967 by Disney and then was recreated as a CGI extravaganza by Jon Favreau in 2016.

Serkis accepts that comparisons will be made between the versions but says his interpretation is much closer to Kipling's original story and also focuses on more of Mowgli's journey.

In an interview on 'This Morning', he said: "It's much closer to the tone of Rudyard Kipling's book and it takes into account the world that Kipling was living in. It's set in 19th century colonial India and it really has that feel and flavour. It's a live action movie so we shot on location. It took almost four years to make. We wanted to put some space between us and Jon Favreau's Disney film, I must say though they are completely different movies you can't really compare the two.

"For instance, we built jungle sets at Leavesden Studios where 'Harry Potter' was filmed and then we went to South Africa and created - and this is the biggest difference between this and the other movie - an entire village in South Africa, south of Durban. In this film we see Mowgli try and assimilate himself into the world of man in the Indian village."

Serkis - who created The Imaginarium Studios production company which specialises in motion capture technology - admits morphing the actors likenesses with the animals they play provided a wealth of unique challenges.

The actor - who plays Baloo the bear - said: "The idea of creating believable talking animals is something that I've been using motion capture technology to do, and the movie business has, for 15 to 20 years.

"One of the biggest challenges was to do it for different animals. When you think about apes to create a human performance and then translate it to an ape is actually quite difficult but when you're thinking about tigers, bears and panthers, you have to design the animals very, very cleverly.

"If you imagine of a picture of Christian Bale and a picture of a panther and then morphing his face gradually into a panther slowly at some point you find a sweet spot in the design when you see both the actor and the creature, that and then the perfecting of that with the animators in post-production creates a brilliant thing. They've done an extraordinary job and taken this type of animation to another level."

Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Mowgli' is scheduled for release in Ireland on October 19.

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