Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
Mowgli, and a round-up of the top streaming shows
FROM GOLLUM IN The Lord of the Rings to Caesar in the Planet of the Apes films, British actor Andy Serkis has brought some amazing creatures and animals to life on screen.
Now, Serkis, 54, adds another to the list as Baloo the bear in Netflix film Mowgli: Legend of thejungle, a new version of Thejungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, previously brought to our screens in two Disney movies.
The film was made using the latest motion-capture technology – where an actor wears sensors on their body to create a digital character – and has an all-star cast that including Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale.
Here, Serkis, who also directed the movie, reveals more…
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US
ABOUT THE FILM? Mowgli, played by teenager Rohan Chand, is an orphaned boy growing up with wolves. He believes he’s one of the pack until he reaches a moment in his adolescence when he becomes aware that he’s not a wolf. The film is a journey of him assimilating into the world of man where he finds both good and bad.
WHY HAVE YOU REMADE WHAT IS
SUCH A CLASSIC MOVIE? It is such a wonderful story, and this is a version much closer to the tone of Rudyard Kipling’s book. We have all been very much conditioned by the1967 animation and other versions which have treated the subject matter in quite a light way, which is great. But if you go to the book, it is a lot darker. IN WHAT WAY IS Mowgli DARKER? There is no singing or dancing from the animals, that’s for sure. The book isn’t a child’s fairy tale, so we’ve taken a darker approach. In this version, there is savagery as well as emotion. DO YOU THINK VIEWERS WILL ENJOY THIS MORE SERIOUS APPROACH? I think there is an appetite for more emotionally powerful storytelling. Look at Planet of the Apes, for example. We live in a world that is fraught with danger and there is definitely room for looking at the human condition through a prism which is slightly more serious.
YOU ALSO PLAY BALOO THE BEAR.
HOW WAS THAT? I was really interested in taking on Baloo. In the book he’s completely different from how you’d expect. He’s like a drill sergeant who really pushes Mowgli.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE
MAKING THE MOVIE? How to make talking animals believable. We’ve seen lots of talking animals in movies and you can make them look great, but we spent a lot of time ensuring DO YOU THINK MOTION-CAPTURE PERFORMANCES WILL EVER BE RECOGNISED BY THE OSCARS? The Academy spoke to me about it. They’re looking at the nature of what a performance is. Performance capture, voice acting, suit work – like Doug Jones in The Shape of Water.
What is the difference between that and John Hurt in The Elephant Man?
That’s a brilliant performance by a brilliant man caked in make-up.
ANDY SERKIS voices baloo the bear in his dark new version of Thejungle Book