{ Page-Title / Story-Title }

News American

Rohan Chand, Freida Pinto to bond in Andy Serkis's Mowgli

The two artistes are the key human characters in director Serkis's darker, more realistic telling of Rudyard Kipling's adventure novel.

Sonal Pandya

Two years ago, Disney's live-action adaptation The Jungle Book (2016) won over audiences around the world with its astonishing real blend of computer generated animals and the lovable human-cub, Mowgli, played by Neel Sethi. The film, directed by Jon Favreau, won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

That same year, actor-turned-filmmaker Andy Serkis's film on the same story, Mowgli, was due to be released but was delayed.

Now, producer, Warner Bros, and director Serkis are hoping audiences will be geared up to revisit Mowgli's story once again. This retelling is darker and bleaker, not the happy-go-lucky version put up by Disney in 2016.

Mowgli's trailer opens with a grimy, long-haired Mowgli (Rohan Chand) held captive in a cage. He is approached by Bagheera (voice of Christian Bale), who tells him, "Gain their trust, little brother". The 'their' refers to world of men, where Mowgli actually belongs. As he grows older, his place in the animal kingdom, pursued by the tiger Sher Khan (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch), is threatened.

Now, he must learn to trust humans and live like a man in a small Indian village. The trailer shows an astonished, almost fearful Mowgli making connections with humans, namely Freida Pinto's Messua and Matthew Rhys's hunter John Lockwood. Whether these connections are good or bad will be explained in the film.

Serkis, who is known for his motion-capture performances in The Lord Of Rings trilogy and the Planet Of The Apes series, brings high expectations to this adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling novel, The Jungle Book. Besides Bale and Cumberbatch, the director has cast himself as Baloo, Cate Blanchett as Kaa and Peter Mullan as Akela. Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander and Eddie Marsan are also part of the film.

Young Indian-American actor Rohan Chand has bagged the lead role of Mowgli. Chand has earlier acted in the American television series Homeland and films Bad Words (2013) and The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014).

Pinto, who was recently on the television series Guerilla and The Path, hasn't been seen on the big screen for a while now. She seems to have an interesting role as the mother figure in Mowgli's life.

The actress is also part of the ensemble Hindi film, Love Sonia, with Rajkummar Rao, Anupam Kher, Richa Chadda and Manoj Bajpayee, which is due to be released later this year.

Watch the Mowgli trailer below: