Back in July, Netflix flexed its acquisition muscles and bought the worldwide rights to “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” from Warner Bros. The Andy Serkis directed film features heavy CGI and motion capture technology to bring the story to life. Despite Disney releasing their version of the film in 2016, Serkis pushed forward with his darker tale. When Netflix originally picked up the new adaptation, it was announced that it would release in 2019. However, with the new trailer released today, that appears to have shifted.
The new trailer features much of the same material as the first version. However, in Serkis’ version, there appears to be far more material focused on colonialism and divides between the animal and human kingdoms. This harkens back to the Rudyard Kipling novel, and the era of British Imperialism.
“Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” also features traditional characters from the story. Among those in his corner are Bagheera (Christian Bale), Baloo (Serkis), and Nisha (Naomi Harris). Kaa (Cate Blanchett) slithers in the shadows. Mowgli’s estrangement from the pack causes him to seek out the human village. The boy receives acceptance from the town by the motherly Messua (Freida Pinto) and seems to serve as a squire-type for the Matthew Rhys. While Mowgli struggles to choose between the two worlds, the infamous Shere Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) returns to the Jungle once more.
With the Marvel films standing out, and “Ready Player One” likely to take a visual effects slot, “Mowgli” could easily fit into the lineup. It is likely that “Mary Poppins Returns” gets a strong push as well. Seeing the landscape, there is room for Netflix to make a big play, potentially making this year’s Oscars an even bigger day for Netflix.
What do you think of the new “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” trailer from Netflix? Can it earn a best visual effects nomination? Can it break outside of that category? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below!
“Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” releases in New York and Los Angeles on Nov. 29, 2018. Netflix will release “Mowgli” on their streaming service on Dec. 7, 2018.
Be sure to check out the Official Oscar Predictions Page to see our rankings of this year’s contenders!