Originally slated for theatrical release on October 19th of this year, having already been shunted around the release date schedule to avoid Jon Favreau’s 2016 blockbuster, Andy Serkis’ adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, titled Mowgli, will now surprisingly swing its way onto Netflix instead.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the streaming giant has picked up the distribution rights from Warner Bros. and that Mowgli will now be released sometime in 2019.
It continues a trend which has seen Netflix pick up films that were originally intended for the big screen. Only last year they snapped up The Cloverfield Paradox, and while that was greeted with some rotten reviews, the strength of the marketing was undeniable, with more people watching it than would have shelled out to see it on opening weekend.
Netflix also took Alex Garland’s Annihilation from Paramount for international distribution, which was a five star film-of-the-year contender, so it’s too early to read much into Warner Bros. decision to abandon Mowgli in terms of the quality of the film.
Let us know what you think of the decision using the comments section. Are you more likely to watch Mowgli now that it’s moving to Netflix? Or has this move put you off?
Directed by Andy Serkis, the film stars Rohan Chand in the title role alongside Matthew Rhys and Freida Pinto and features the voice talents of Christian Bale as Bagheera, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Naomie Harris as Nisha, Serkis as Baloo, and Peter Mullan as Akela.
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.