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Andy Serkis’ ‘Mowgli’ Trailer: A Darker Look At ‘The Jungle Book’

With this morning's trailer debut of Andy Serkis' Mowgli, we now have a trailer for every major Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc. release for 2018 except for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's A Star Is Born and James Wan's Aquaman

We’ll get a Star Is Born trailer (the film opted to forgo Cannes in favor of the more Oscar-friendly Fall festival circuit) attached to Ocean’s 8 in early June. That Aquaman trailer will drop, I dunno, sometime next month with Incredibles 2 or Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom or with July’s Ant-Man and the Wasp just before SDCC?

Either way, this darker, PG-13 variation on Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is going to have to justify itself 2.5 years after Disney beat them to the punch with a pretty acclaimed and $996 million-grossing version of the iconic story. Yes, this one is presumably more faithful to the original book than the Disney toon, the 1994 Stephen Sommers actioner or Jon Favreau’s animated/live-action hybrid from 2016. But at the end of the day, it’s still another live-action/animated action drama set in the same general world and stemming from the same source material.

It’ll be an uphill battle, even if this does turn out to be essentially a Jungle Book movie with the tone, mood and flavoring of Matt Reeves’ recent Planet of the Apes sequels. To be fair, this looks pretty spectacular from a purely visual point-of-view. And the animal cast, including Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Naomie Harris among others, is pretty impressive if not quite as conventionally star-studded as Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Walken and Idris Elba. If not for the fact that we just had a variation on this movie from a different studio two years ago, this one would probably be looked at as a much bigger deal.

But this isn’t 1998 where audiences necessarily want two loose copies of the same movie in a short period of time. Heck, even in 2013 there was only room for one “Die Hard in the White House” movie, as the underrated but overbudgeted White House Down fell to the cheaper and nastier Olympus Has Fallen. Of course, a 2.5-year difference is different than a six-month (or less) span between movies. So will audiences feel that enough time has passed in between Jungle Book movies, even if this one does look pretty neat and does feel closer in spirit to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes than Walt Disney’s (occasionally somber and arthouse-ish) Jungle Book adaptation?

Watch the full trailer : https://youtu.be/GpxCT36DxKg

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Andy Serkis' 'Mowgli' Trailer: A Darker Look At 'The Jungle Book'
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