Not a man, not a wolf: The first “Mowgli” trailer

Warner Bros.
by The Collected Mutineer

In April 2016, I wrote a review of Disney’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book.

Well, this isn’t that. Not by a long shot.

The first trailer for Andy Serkis’ Mowgli was released yesterday, and it would appear that the internet has mixed feelings. This remake of Rudyard Kipling’s legendary Jungle Book stories promises to be much closer to the source material, and darker as a result. If you’ve read my review of Disney’s last version, you know that I’m a huge fan of Kipling’s most famous work. But even I have my reservations. Not sure what I mean? Watch the trailer below.

I love the overall look of the trailer—the grittiness, the reality, and the trials faced by Mowgli and his animal friends ring true. The voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, and others are recognizable and well-loved. But I have two very specific issues that I really hope can be resolved before the film’s release on October 19, 2018.

First, we just had a Jungle Book movie. Less than three years ago. Yes, it was a Disney-fied story with songs and dancing and an overall jovial feeling despite tribulations. It was obviously very different from what we will experience with Mowgli. However, I can’t help but feel like most audience members will have film fatigue. Will this version be different enough to be interesting to someone who isn’t familiar with the source material, who isn’t eager to explore the various themes typically left out in film adaptations? While I’m fairly certain that I will enjoy the film, I can’t say that I’m terribly confident about others.

Warner Bros.

Second, and perhaps more importantly…what was up with the CGI? The animals don’t really look that great, especially when you think about how realistic they appeared in The Jungle Book. Shere Khan looks like half a tiger, and the rest are in the same boat. This could be because the film is still in post-production and the CGI isn’t complete, but needless to say, it doesn’t make for an appealing trailer.

I am crossing my fingers that the film will deliver what it claims. If nothing else, Rohan Chand’s performance should be interesting, and perhaps even award-worthy. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Did you find the trailer interesting? Let us know in the comments below.