Motion capture and live action are blended for “Mowgli,” a new, big-screen, 3D adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic The Jungle Book. The film features an impressive roster of stars under the direction of Andy Serkis.
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.
The actors performing the roles of the story’s central animal characters are: Oscar winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter,” the “Dark Knight” Trilogy) as the cunning panther, Bagheera; Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine,” “The Aviator”) as the sinister snake, Kaa; Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game,” “Avengers: Infinity War”) as the fearsome tiger, Shere Khan; Oscar nominee Naomie Harris (“Moonlight,” “Skyfall”) as Nisha, the female wolf, who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs; and Andy Serkis (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) as the wise bear, Baloo. On the human side, Matthew Rhys (“The Post”) is Lockwood; Freida Pinto (“Knight of Cups”) is Messua; and young actor Rohan Chand (“The Hundred-Foot Journey,” “Bad Words”) will play Mowgli, the boy raised by wolves.
Rounding out the cast are Peter Mullan (“Tommy’s Honour”), as the leader of the wolf pack, Akela; Jack Reynor (“Transformers: Age of Extinction”), as Mowgli’s brother Wolf; Eddie Marsan (TV’s “Ray Donovan”), as Nisha’s mate, Vihaan; and Tom Hollander (“Breathe”) as the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui.
“Mowgli” is produced by Steve Kloves (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”), Jonathan Cavendish (“Breathe,” performance capture producer on “Godzilla”), and David Barron (the “Harry Potter” films), with Nikki Penny serving as executive producer. The screenplay is by Kloves’ daughter, Callie Kloves.
Serkis’s creative filmmaking team includes director of photography Michael Seresin (“War for the Planet of the Apes”), production designer Gary Freeman (“Tomb Raider”) and editors Mark Sanger (Oscar winner, “Gravity”), Alex Marquez (“Snowden”) and Jeremiah O’Driscoll (“Flight”). The music is composed by Nitin Sawhney (“Breathe”).
A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation of an Imaginarium Production, “Mowgli” is slated for release on October 19, 2018, in 2D and 3D in select theaters. It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.