Earlier today Disney finally went and dropped the trailer for Jon Favreau’s upcoming live action extravaganza Jungle Book adaptation and it’s certainly a sight to see. Some fans were treated to an initial preview earlier this month at Disney’s big D3 conference, but today, after much speculation on what this film would actually look like, the rest of us were let in on the surprise.
Using advanced Planet of the Apes style motion capture, Favreau is truly bringing Rudyard Kipling’s vision of the boy Mogli, raised by wolves in the wilds of the jungle, to life, although it is one of two live action adaptations currently in production –the other being produced by Warner Brothers and directed by mo-cap legend, Andy Serkis.
This first trailer is incredibly dark featuring brutal fight scenes, massive stampedes, and vast jungle landscapes all while introducing us back into the vast world of Mogli. The movie is set to be a blending of the original Kipling stories and Disney’s 1967 animated feature bringing the full pantheon of characters to life including the lovable bear Baloo, Bagheera the panther, and King Louie the orangutan. The trailer also tosses us a glimpse of the massive python, Kaa, although it’s unclear if the character will be a friend to Mogli or serve as a secondary antagonist to the truly horrifying Shere Kahn, the fierce tiger king, as he did in Disney’s animated adaptation.
Before the trailer the idea of this movie was largely uninteresting, but Favreau’s vision is nothing if not intense. It should also serve as another good showing in the Disney Vs. Warner Bros battle (Disney produces the Marvel proper films and Warner Bros. produces the DC line of movies). Favreau is of course a Marvel alum having directed the first two Iron Man movies and produced Iron Man 3 all while playing the role of Tony Stark’s best bro, Happy Hogan in all three films.
In a funny side note, Marvel Comics also produced a comic version of the Jungle Book stories in 2007 under their Marvel Illustrated line.
Below is Disney’s offical synopsis for the film:
“Directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire. The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world. The wild adventure swings into theaters in 3D on April 15, 2016.”
Also, here’s what Marvel Illustrated’s Jungle Book looked like: