I have to admit, there hasn’t been that much interest on my part to really care much about Jon Favreau’s upcoming live action Disney film based on The Jungle Book. There’s a great cast attached which piqued my interest but other than that, the idea of a live action version had just left me indifferent.
Access Hollywood Live debuted the very first trailer of The Jungle Book which has now gone up on the Disney own YouTube channel. You can watch it below:
I am sorry I ever doubted this film -- it looks like it’s going to be crazy awesome! Sure, it seems to sit in the "Disney cartoon reimagined as live action" genre that the studio is currently in love with, but despite the talking animals, the film seems a bit more adult than I was expecting.
What’s really surprising is that, minus child actor Neel Sethi who plays Mowgli, most of this is 3D-rendered CGI. The concept art had me convinced that the film would be a bit more cartoony than what this trailer delivers.
The original book by Rudyard Kipling featured the thematic element of the struggle between animals and man, which tended to explore a darker and more sinister tone than the original Disney film. While a lot of that was exorcised from the animated movie, it looks like Favreau and company have decided to put those elements back in.
The Jungle Book also stars Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, and Lupita Nyong’o. The film will premiere in theaters on April 15, 2016, here’s the synopsis.
Directed by Jon Favreau (“Chef,” “Iron Man,” “Elf”), 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 Johannsson), 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.