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Andy Serkis has shared some of the first details about Mowgli, including the MPAA rating as well as some details about his interpretation of his role as Baloo.
Mowgli is the non-Disney adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which takes a much more direct approach to the iconic novel. Unlike the recent Jon Favreau reboot, this approach will take away the Disney frills and sing-a-longs, while adding a darker tone to the story. In fact, the biggest similarity is that this film will also heavily feature CGI. Mowgli has an outstanding cast, featuring Serkis as Baloo, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Naomie Harris as Nisha, Christian Bale as Bagheera and Rohan Chand as Mowgli. This is also Serkis’ directorial debut.
Serkis shared some new details about the film on Good Morning Britain [via The List], mostly talking about his darker take on Baloo. Most audiences are familiar with Phil Harris from Disney’s 1967 animated version of The Jungle Book, or even Bill Murray’s easygoing bear from 2016’s reboot. So a darker Baloo will likely be a bit of a shock to audiences unfamiliar with the source material. He explained, “He is quite nice. He is actually quite tough in this one. A dark Baloo.”
bear necessities Andy Serkis Mowgli Rated PG 13 For Bloody Images & Dark Baloo
While this might be a bit confusing at this point, it’s no wonder that Serkis will be taking this character in a little bit of a darker direction. The 1967 animated film was originally going to be much darker, but Walt Disney was worried that it would be too much for children. Mowgli will be a darker incarnation of the Kipling story, as it’s already earned a PG-13 rating for “bloody images,” which is more than a little exciting.
Even though Baloo isn’t the villain in this story, Serkis is no stranger to villainy. Many know him best for his career-defining performance as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, which he later reprised in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. More recently, we’ve seen him as the still-mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars, the underappreciated role of Caesar in the newest Planet of the Apes trilogy and the villainous Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther. He even went as far as to say that he’s enjoyed being a villain for so long, saying, “It’s quite fun being the villain, actually. Especially when finding ways to make the villain appealing in some ways and so, I mean, look, it’s all about the character.”