Andy Serkis says his "quite dark" JUNGLE BOOK is for an "older audience"

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I was chatting to the manager of a cinema recently and he revealed to me that he’s getting a few complaints about Disney’s latest live-action version of the Jungle Book. It would seem that young children are sometimes bursting into tears during the movie’s more darker moments, much to the annoyance of parents who thought they were taking their young ones to watch a lovely kids’ film. Well, if that is the case, then I suggest that those parents keep their children far away from the other live-action Jungle Book that’s still on the way.

This second film comes from Warner Bros and will be directed by mo-cap whizz Andy Serkis who has assembled one hell of a high profile cast for his take on Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale. With the Jon Favreau directed Disney version absolutely killing it at the box office, and just being an incredible movie, WB already did the wise thing by pushing back their movie’s release date to give the two films some space. And it seems they’re making one big stylistic decision that will definitely set the movies apart.

Speaking to Vulture, Serkis revealed that while Disney’s version may have a small handful of darker parts or aspects, his movie would be fully embracing the dark side. Because he likes to scare kids. Seriously.

“Ours is for a slightly older audience…It’s a PG-13, more a kind of Apes movie, a slightly darker take, closer to Rudyard Kipling’s.” Serkis said that movies these days are too cautious when it comes to children. “Which is wrong,” said Serkis. “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 them… Kids are so sophisticated and that is why our Jungle Book is quite dark.”

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To be fair, when I think back now to when I was a kid and to the movies that left the most lasting impressions on me, quite a number of them were actually the one that scared pants off me. And I’m still a reasonably well adjusted adult today (I think), despite being exposed to those horrors. So Serkis is probably onto something here.

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He also went to explain just what it is about the Jungle Book that appeals to much to us and how the messages it aims to bring across is still relevant today.

“It’s a story of an outsider, someone who is trying to accept the laws and customs of a particular way of living and then has to adapt to another culture, a human culture, which of course he should be able to adapt to, because this is what he is. So it’s about two different species and their laws and customs, and neither are entirely right.”

Serkis’ Jungle Book: Origins (which I think is still the title, since nobody seems to refer to it as such anymore for some reason) is scheduled for release on 19 October 2018, and stars the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Christian Bale as Bagheera, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Tom Hollander as the jackal Tabaqui, Peter Mullan as wolf pack leader Akele, Naomie Harris as she-wolf Nisha and Eddie Marsan as her mate Vihaan, alongside the still uncast live actors.

Last Updated: May 18, 2016

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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