Andy Serkis’ version of The Jungle Book has had a name change, and will be released as Mowgli.
Originally intended to be called Jungle Book: Origins, the film will now be named after lead character Mowgli, the mancub raised in the Indian jungle by a pack of wolves.
The Warner Bros. project has been years in the making, and although they announced their Jungle Book plans before Disney’s live action version, helmed by Jon Favreau, Disney beat the studio to it and brought theirs out in 2015. It went on to win the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, and a sequel is now in the works.
Based on the famous tale by Rudyard Kipling, Serkis, like Favreau, has amassed an all-star cast for his feature. Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris and Freida Pinto all lend their vocal talents to the jungle animals, like snake Kaa, panther Bagheera and tiger Shere Khan.
And Serkis, best known for his genre-defining motion capture work, will voice beloved bear Baloo.
Mowgli will open in cinemas from 18 October (18).
It marks Serkis’ second directorial effort, after this year’s Breathe. Starring Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy and Tom Hollander, who also stars in the latest retelling of The Jungle Book, the film was a critical success and told the true story of polio sufferer and pioneer Robin Cavendish and his devoted wife Diana.
“I’d always wanted to tell stories visually, always,” Serkis told Cover Media. “And I started to make short films and videos, and it grew, and I started to write some scripts and having ideas that I put down.
“And when I went to work on Lord of the Rings the whole visual effects world opened up to me, and that was extraordinary.”