ROHAN CHAND as Mowgli in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “MOWGLI,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Photo Courtesy Warner Bros. PicturesIn the second round of the dueling Jungle Book movies, Andy Serkis steps in the director’s chair to bring us Mowgli, a darker, grittier retelling of the classic story. The trailer features young actor Rohan Chand giving moody intensity to Mowgli. As I wrote on Twitter, I feel like I’m watching a young Sabu (and if you don’t know who Sabu is, then you’re missing out on a big part of vintage Indian and Hollywood film history).

The film, based on a screenplay by Callie Kloves and starring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, Andy Serkis, Matthew Rhys, Freida Pinto, Peter Mullan, Jack Reynor, Eddie Marsan and Tom Hollander, will be in 3D and 2D in select theaters Oct. 19.

Blending live action and performance capture, the story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli (Rohan Chand) 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 (Andy Serkis) and a panther named Bagheera (Christian Bale), Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own.  All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. (Benedict Cumberbatch). But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins. The other story’s central animal characters are: Kaa, the snake (Cate Blanchett); the leader of the wolf pack, Akela (Peter Mullan); the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui (Tom Hollander); Nisha, the female wolf (Naomie Harris), who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs; Nisha’s mate, Vihaan (Eddie Marsan); and Mowgli’s Brother Wolf (Jack Reynor).

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