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Mowgli Trailer Gives First Look At Andy Serkis' Dark Take On The Jungle Book

The first trailer for Mowgli, the upcoming adaptation of The Jungle Book from director Andy Serkis, promises that audiences will "witness the darkest telling of the beloved masterpiece." Based on what was shown in the first-look footage, the film will definitely deliver on that vow.

From shots of Mowgli, played by Rohan Chand, held in captivity and swinging a fire stick at fellow jungle-dwellers to glimpses of the nefarious tiger Shere Khan, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, the trailer proves that Warner Bros. has separated itself from the cutesy live-action adaptations Disney has rolled out in the past few years. It also hints that the film will focus more on Mowgli as a character rather than the talking animals introduced in Rudyard Kipling's classic tale. 

"I believed that one day, you would bring peace to the jungle. But you have become a man now, Mowgli," Peter Mullan's Akela, the leader of the wolf pack, tells Mowgli. 

"I'm not a man, but neither am I a wolf," Mowgli responds before Cate Blanchett's sinister snake Kaa chimes in, "I think we can both agree, Mowgli, that you are something the jungle has never seen before."

Here's the official synopsis for Mowgli, which was previously titled Jungle Book: Origins: "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."

Mowgli also features Christian Bale as the cunning panther, Bagheera; Naomie Harris as Nisha, the female wolf who takes Mowgli in and raises him as one of her cubs; Eddie Marsan as Nisha's mate, Vihaan; Jack Reynor as Mowgli's Brother Wolf; Andy Serkis as the wise and kind bear, Baloo; and Tom Hollander as the hyena, Tabaqui. The human cast of Mowgli includes Matthew Rhys as Lockwood and Freida Pinto as Messua. 

Produced by Steve Kloves (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and Jonathan Cavendish (Breathe), Mowgli is set for release on October 19. The film will open against the long-awaited Halloween reboot.