andy serkis

Andy Serkis teases a 'dark Baloo' in his PG-13 Mowgli movie

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Feb 22, 2018, 6:26 PM EST (Updated)

Forget about the bare necessities, Andy Serkis is getting down to the nitty-gritty for Mowgli, his take on The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. According to ScreenRant the movie has been given a PG-13 rating for “bloody images” and director Serkis has dished on how it will be darker than the recent reboot and the 1967 animated version.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain (via The List,) Serkis said: “It's quite fun being the villain, actually. Especially when finding ways to make the villain appealing in some ways and so, I mean, look, it's all about the character. But you'll see me being Baloo. He is quite nice. He is actually quite tough in this one. A dark Baloo. 'Mowgli,' that's the one I've been directing, which is coming out later this year.”

The rougher tone is certainly in keeping with English author Kipling’s original novel. In the book, Mowgli is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle with the help of Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther, who teach him the law of the jungle, with many scrapes along the way. In terms of Baloo, he’s far removed from the cuddly cartoon voiced by Phil Harris, and more a fierce creature fighting for authority in the jungle. Baloo also puts up a fight to save Mowgli when he’s abducted by the Bandar-log monkeys, and it sounds as though Serkis will be getting his teeth into the strength of the character in his darker retelling, with a script by Callie Kloves.

Never one to shy away from playing a baddie, we can’t wait to see what Serkis has in store for the character (not that Baloo is in any way the villain of the story). And judging by his current turn as Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther, how much “rougher” can he get?!

Mowgli is currently scheduled to be released in October 2018 and includes an all-star cast including Serkis (Baloo), Christian Bale (Bagheera), Benedict Cumberbatch (Shere Khan), Cate Blanchett (Kaa), and Naomie Harris (Raksha).

The project is of course unrelated to the Disney reboot, which made just shy of $1 billion in 2016 and is working on a sequel.

Let us know what you think about the idea of a grittier Jungle Book film below.