It’s been exactly a month since Disney’s live-action Jungle Book hit theaters, and in that time, Jon Favreau’s take on Rudyard Kipling’s classic has racked up $311.8 million domestically and $828.1 million worldwide. Disney’s Jungle Book — which included the voices of stars like Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba, and Ben Kingsley — is a certified critical and popular hit, and there’s already a sequel in the works. But before Disney’s follow-up hits theaters, a new film will be competing to become king of the jungle.
Andy Serkis is still hard at work on his own version of The Jungle Book, which Warner Bros. has slated for release in 2018. Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, and Benedict Cumberbatch are all lending their voices to Serkis’ tale, and at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Serkis talked to Vulture about how his film will differ from Disney’s. Mainly, his take is going to be a little darker and a lot scarier.
“Ours is for a slightly older audience,” Serkis told Vulture. “It’s a PG-13, more a kind of Apes movie, a slightly darker take, closer to Rudyard Kipling’s.”
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While Disney’s new live-action Jungle Book had shades of the 1967 animated musical, Serkis promised that his version will deliver plenty of kid-friendly scares.
“It’s great to scare kids in a safe environment because it’s an important part of development, and we all loved to be scared as kids, so we shouldn’t overly protect him,” he added. “Kids are so sophisticated, and that is why our Jungle Book is quite dark.”
Serkis is making his directorial debut with Jungle Book, and he’s leaning heavily on state-of-the-art performance-capture technology. Serkis is a motion-capture pioneer, playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films, Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and, most recently, Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Serkis’ Jungle Book is slated for release on Oct. 19, 2018.