The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the streaming service, Netflix, has acquired the rights to Andy Serkis’ Mowgli film from Warner Bros. The WB had scheduled the film to arrive in theaters on October 19th, however, now the film will debut on Netflix sometime in 2019.
Per The Hollywood Reporter:
By moving to Netflix, Mowgli will at least be able to avoid box office comparisons to Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book, which won the Oscar for visual effects. Mowgli sees Serkis play Baloo through performance capture, with other stars including Benedict Cumberbatch (Shere Khan), Cate Blanchett (Kaa), Christian Bale (Bagheera), Matthew Rhys (John Lockwood) and Rohan Chand (Mowgli).
Netflix has made a habit of acquiring films that perhaps studios preferred not to release theatrically. It paid Paramount more than $50 million for The Cloverfield Paradox, which received dismal reviews but caused a splash when Netflix announced during the Super Bowl the film would be available for streaming after the game. Netflix also picked up Michael Pena‘s sci-fi thriller Extinction in February after Universal had removed it from the schedule without explanation months earlier.
Serkis told THR earlier this year that his Jungle Book film would be a darker retelling of the tale than the Disney version.
“This story is about identity. It’s about being other: Mowgli growing up as an other in the world of animals and trying to fit in and then in the world of man, and it takes place in both realms,” he said. “And then the approach was rather than looking at it as a piece of spectacle, it’s a very emotional and dramatic piece about the connection between the animals and Mowgli, and humans and Mowgli.”
Check out the trailer for Mowgli below: