Rudyard Kipling’s beloved story, The Jungle Book, is returning to the big screen on October 19th with an adaptation that promises to expose the hidden horrors of the jungle.
The Jungle Book is centered around the tale of Mowgli, a young boy raised by a wolf pack, who journeys throughout Indian jungles alongside lovable bear Baloo, while trying to escape the threat of fearsome tiger Shere Khan. Warner Bros. and director Andy Serkis have teamed up to produce Mowgli, a retelling of The Jungle Book which will focus less on cheerful singing and more on the realistic horrors of a child living in the jungle.
The story is one fans know all too well, both in part due to the iconic nature of Kipling’s story as well as Disney’s recent Academy Award-winning adaptation, directed by Jon Favreau, which received universal acclaim and quickly become one of the highest grossing films of all time.
Andy Serkis’ much-anticipated adaption, which is not being produced by Disney, was originally scheduled for release in the Fall of 2016, however due to production time limits and the massive success of Disney’s 2016 adaptation, it was pushed back to the Fall of this year. Though audiences will likely compare the two versions, and let’s be honest Serkis’ version has a lot to live up to, the darker direction that this adaptation promises to explore will offer a refreshing and unique take.
You might have forgotten about this, but Warner Bros. has been developing its own adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s, The Jungle Book, with Andy Serkis at the helm. After Disney smashed box office records with its own live-action Jungle Book adaptation (directed by Jon Favreau) last year, Warner Bros. has been mum on details regarding their take.
They’ve now broken their silence, revealing the movie’s new title and an official (albeit thoroughly unsurprising) synopsis. Originally titled Jungle Book: Origins, the movie is now simply called Mowgli. Warner Bros., do you need a little help coming up with titles over there?
Image Via ABC
And here is the official synopsis, courtesy of Warner Bros.:
The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli, raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.
Andy Serkis is bringing his signature motion capture knowledge to the project, which makes it stand apart (although only vaguely) from Disney’s 2016 movie. Also, as with Disney’s The Jungle Book, Serkis has assembled a wild cast. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the tiger, Shere Khan; Cate Blanchett plays the snake, Kaa; Christian Bale plays the panther, Bagheera; and Andy Serkis plays the big lovable bear, Baloo. Rohan Chand will be playing Mowgli.
It’s a year to the day since Kim Kardashian called Taylor Swift a snake for denying she knew she would be referenced on Kanye West’s song “Famous.”
In honor of this momentous occasion, we’ve put together a list of the top five snakes in literature!
1. Kaa: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
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In Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Kaa is both mentor and friend to Mowgli and uses hypnoses to rescue him from some sticky situations. However, in the Disney movie, Kaa is a sly antagonist who repeatedly attempts to hypnotize Mowgli in an attempt to eat him. Seems like this character is a little two faced!
2. The Basilisk: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling
Image Courtesy of Villains Wiki
The Basilisk lurks in the depths of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, awaiting the heir of Slytherin. While three of the four Hogwarts founders were accepting of Muggle-borns, Slytherin founder Salazar Slytherin was not. He left the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets in the hopes that one day his heir would release her so that she could purge the school of those he deemed unworthy to study there.
In the second book of the series, Harry Potter faces the Basilisk, who vanquishes her with the help of Fawkes the Phoenix and the Sword of Gryffindor. Even though she is eventually defeated, the Basilisk is definitely one of the scariest serpents in literature!
3. The Incredibly Deadly Viper: The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
Image Courtesy of Amazon
‘The Incredibly Deadly Viper’ is arguably the hero of the third installment of Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events. The snake created a distraction by pretending to attack Sunny while the children escaped the clutches of the evil Count Olaf. While snakes are notoriously sly, this guy is a welcome change from the stereotype and really saves the Baudelaire orphans in this spooky tale.
4. The Swamp Adder: The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Arthur Conan Doyle
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The Swamp Adder turns out to be the murder weapon in this famous Sherlock Holmes story! The dying words of Julia Stoner identify her killer as ‘the speckled band.’ Holmes and Watson eventually find out that it was ‘the squat diamond-shaped head and puffed neck of a loathsome serpent!’ Swamp adders don’t actually exist, and it has been speculated that the story’s description most closely resembles the Indian cobra.
5. Mr. Crowley: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
In this comedy about the birth of Satan, Mr. Crowley is a snake demon who originally tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. He spends much of the novel in human form, but then again, so do a lot of snakes. *ba dum tss*
Featured image courtesy of Time and Mahashweta Burma