Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle

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Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
Mowgli Legend of the Jungle poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byAndy Serkis
Produced by
Screenplay byCallie Kloves
Based onThe Jungle Book
by Rudyard Kipling
Music byNitin Sawhney
CinematographyMichael Seresin
Edited by
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • November 29, 2018 (2018-11-29) (United Kingdom and United States)
Running time
104 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is an upcoming fantasy adventure film directed by Andy Serkis and written by Callie Kloves, based on The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. The film stars Rohan Chand, Matthew Rhys and Freida Pinto, along with voice and motion capture performances from Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris and Serkis.

Talks of a new Jungle Book film from Warner Bros. began in 2012 and various directors, including Steve Kloves, Ron Howard and Alejandro González Iñárritu, were approached before Serkis was confirmed in March 2014. Much of the cast signed on that August and principal photography began in March 2015. Filming took place in South Africa and at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, England.

Originally scheduled to be released in October 2016 by Warner Bros., the film was delayed numerous times to work on the visual effects and to create space between itself and the April 2016 release of Disney's own Jungle Book adaptation. In July 2018, Warner Bros. sold the rights for the film to Netflix. The film is set to be released in select theaters on November 29, 2018, followed by its subsequent digital Netflix release on December 7, 2018.


The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli (Rohan Chand) raised by a pack of Indian wolves in the jungles of India. As he learns the often harsh rules of the jungle under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo (Andy Serkis) and a black panther named Bagheera (Christian Bale), Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own except for the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his follower Tabaqui (Tom Hollander). But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.[2]


Voice and motion-capture cast[edit]

Character English Hindi
Bagheera the Black panther Christian Bale Abhishek Bachchan
Kaa the Indian rock python Cate Blanchett Kareena Kapoor
Shere Khan the Bengal tiger Benedict Cumberbatch Jackie Shroff
Nisha the Indian wolf Naomie Harris Madhuri Dixit
Baloo the Himalayan brown bear Andy Serkis Anil Kapoor
Akela the Indian wolf Peter Mullan
Brother Wolf Jack Reynor
Vihaan the Indian wolf Eddie Marsan
Hathi the Indian elephant Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Tabaqui the striped hyena Tom Hollander


A number of writers, directors, and producers were connected with the film during its development. In April 2012, Warner Bros. Pictures announced that it was developing the film with Steve Kloves in talks to write, direct, and produce it.[3] It was reported in December 2013 that Kloves would produce the film, and Alejandro González Iñárritu was in talks to direct, from a screenplay by Kloves' daughter Callie.[4] However, in January 2014, Iñárritu left the project due to scheduling conflicts with Birdman and The Revenant.[5][6] In February 2014, it was reported that Ron Howard was in talks to direct, and would produce the film with Brian Grazer through their Imagine Entertainment company.[6] The next month it was announced that Andy Serkis would direct and produce the film with collaborator Jonathan Cavendish of The Imaginarium, and Serkis would also perform the role of Baloo.[7] Production designer Gary Freeman, editor Mark Sanger, and costume designer Alexandra Byrne were hired.[8]

In August 2014, Benedict Cumberbatch joined the film to voice the villain role of Shere Khan.[9] Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan, Peter Mullan and Rohan Chand were announced the following day.[10] Jack Reynor was added to the cast in March 2015 as Mowgli's Brother Wolf.[8] It was announced in April 2015 that Matthew Rhys was in talks to play the human role of John Lockwood.[11] In May 2015, it was reported that Freida Pinto would be playing an unspecified live-action role along with Rhys and Chand,[12] later confirmed to be Mowgli's adoptive mother.[13]

Principal photography began on March 9, 2015.[8] It was filmed in South Africa and at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in England.[14]


The film, originally titled Jungle Book: Origins, was initially set for an October 2016 release by Warner Bros.[15] In December 2014, Warner Bros. shifted the date to October 2017, allowing more time for further work on the visual effects.[16] In April 2016, just before the wide release of Disney's The Jungle Book, the film's release date was moved to October 19, 2018.[17] In October 2017, Andy Serkis revealed the working title of the film to be Mowgli: Tales from the Jungle Book.[18] In December, the official title was changed to Mowgli.[2] Serkis stated that the film would be "darker" and more "serious" in tone than from previous Jungle Book adaptations.[19] In March 2018, Serkis said first footage would be released "very soon".[20] The first trailer and a behind-the-scenes featurette premiered on May 21, 2018.[21][22]

In July 2018, it was announced that Netflix had purchased the worldwide distribution rights of the film from Warner Bros. and would set a 2019 release date, including a theatrical 3D release.[23] Speaking of the move, Serkis stated:

"I'm really excited about Netflix for Mowgli. Now, we avoid comparisons to the other movie and it's a relief not to have the pressure. I've seen the 3D version, and it's exceptional, a different view from the 2D version, really lush and with great depth, and there will be some kind of theatrical component for that. What excites me most is the forward thinking at Netflix in how to present this, and the message of the movie. They understand this is a darker telling that doesn't fit it into a four quadrant slot. It's really not meant for young kids, though I think it's possible that 10 or above can watch it. It was always meant to be PG-13, and this allows us to go deeper, with darker themes, to be scary and frightening in moments. The violence between animals is not gratuitous, but it's definitely there. This way of going allows us to get the film out without compromise."[23]

On November 7, 2018, Netflix released a new trailer for the film, announcing a new title change, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, as well as its limited theatrical release on November 29, 2018 and its subsequent streaming release on December 7, 2018.[24]


  1. ^ McNary, Dave (1 August 2014). "Andy Serkis' 'Jungle Book: Origins' Set for October 2016, A Year After Disney's 'Jungle Book'". Variety. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b Stauffer, Derek (19 December 2017). "Andy Serkis' Jungle Book Retitled Mowgli; Official Synopsis Released". Screen Rant. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  3. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (27 April 2012). "Steve Kloves To Write-Direct 'The Jungle Book' For Warner Bros". Deadline. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  4. ^ Sneider, Jeff (4 December 2013). "Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to Direct 'Jungle Book' Movie for Warner Bros". TheWrap. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  5. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (9 January 2014). "No 'Jungle Book' For Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu At Warner Bros". Deadline. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  6. ^ a b Siegel, Tatiana; Kit, Borys (14 February 2014). "Ron Howard in Talks to Direct Warner Bros.' 'The Jungle Book'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  7. ^ McNary, Dave (20 March 2014). "Andy Serkis to Direct 'Jungle Book' for Warner Bros.Dave McNary". Variety. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Lesnick, Silas (9 March 2015). "Production Officially Begins on Warner Bros.' The Jungle Book". CraveOnline. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  9. ^ Kit, Borys (19 August 2014). "Benedict Cumberbatch Joins 'Jungle Book' for Warner Bros". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  10. ^ Kit, Borys (20 August 2014). "Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett Join 'Jungle Book: Origins'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  11. ^ Jaafar, Ali (1 April 2015). "Matthew Rhys In Talks To Join 'Jungle Book: Origins' For Warner Bros". Deadline. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  12. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (8 May 2015). "Freida Pinto Swings Into Andy Serkis' 'Jungle Book: Origins' At Warner Bros". Deadline. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  13. ^ Murphy, Desiree (3 March 2016). "EXCLUSIVE: Freida Pinto Reveals the Role She's Playing in 'Jungle Book: Origins'". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Andy Serkis' Jungle Book Gets A PG-13 Rating For Bloody Images". 23 February 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (1 August 2014). "Andy Serkis' 'Jungle Book: Origins' Set for October 2016, A Year After Disney's 'Jungle Book'". Variety. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (11 December 2014). "Warner Bros. Pushes Release Date of 'Jungle Book: Origins'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  17. ^ Ford, Rebecca (6 April 2016). "Warner Bros. Pushes 'Jungle Book' to 2018, 'Wonder Woman' Gets New Date". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  18. ^ Houghton, Rianne (20 October 2017). "Andy Serkis reveals the working title of his Jungle Book movie". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Mowgli, Robin Hood Rated PG-13 by MPAA". 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  20. ^ "First Trailer For Andy Serkis' Mowgli Is Coming 'Very Soon'". 3 March 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Mowgli trailer: first look at Andy Serkis's dark Jungle Book film". The Daily Telegraph. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike (July 27, 2018). "Netflix Acquires Andy Serkis-Directed 'Mowgli' From Warner Bros & Plans 2019 Global Streaming Release". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  24. ^ Sinha-Roy, Piya (November 8, 2018). "Watch Netflix's new trailer for Andy Serkis' dark twist on The Jungle Book tale, Mowgli". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 8, 2018.

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