The first trailer of Mowgli, which features Rohan Chand in the title role, presents a different and darker version of Rudyard Kiplings The Jungle Book. Director Andy Serkis says it is not a fairy tale, and the audience should not expect singing and dancing animals in the film.
Studio Warner Bros. has released its first trailer for Mowgli -- Serkis' decidedly downbeat version of The Jungle Book.
The film is based on Rudyard Kipling's classic 19th century tale of the boy who grew up in the jungles of India.
"We wanted to engage more closely with Kipling's book. It is not so much of a child's fairy tale. This has a reality to it. There are real consequences. It is definitely different from Kipling's book and has a much darker approach," said Serkis in a behind the scenes video.
"There is no singing and dancing by the animals that is for sure. After creating (characters) Caesar and Gollum, this is what I was most drawn to. I can't believe how lucky we are to have our key cast," he added.
The studio appears to be making a major effort to differentiate the movie from Disney's 2016 hit The Jungle Book, which generated $966 million in worldwide box office, reports variety.com.
The CGI (computer generated imagery) footage for Mowgli features threatening beasts such as the malevolent tiger Shere Khan, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, who asserts, "My, my, how you've grown".
The comedy-free trailer launches with Mowgli imprisoned in a wooden cage. He is told by his friend Bagheera, voiced by Christian Bale, "When you were a cub, I looked you in the eye and saw no fear".
There's none of the light comic tone of The Jungle Book, which featured Bill Murray as Baloo the Bear belting out "The Bare Necessities".
Serkis is portraying Baloo in this version, adding to his extensive resume for CGI characters after playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films and Caesar in the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.
Serkis also praised Rohan, who was born in New York to Indian parents.
"We are incredibly lucky to have Rohan at the centre of the story. He is a young boy playing a very complex adult role and he is utterly brilliant," he added.
Serkis says the main theme in the movie is "Who I am in the world of animals and in the world of man".
"It all hinges on the quest to find his own identity. The journey is immense and it will be surprising for the audience. People have many preconceptions about the story and the characters. This will shatter them."
A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation of an Imaginarium Production, "Mowgli" will release worldwide on October 19, 2018. It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.