Jungle Book trailer: Mowgli in a darker, thrilling world

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Old 17-Sep-2015
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Jungle Book trailer: Mowgli in a darker, thrilling world

When an old favourite (a classic, no less) is rebooted by the Hollywood hit-making machinery, you have reasons to be worried. We would be glad to tell The Jungle Book's fans that while director Jon Favreau has made the film darker, it is still the bildungsroman of the mancub Mowgli and the friends and foes he makes in the jungle.

The two-minute trailer of the live-action film begins with Scarlett Johansson explaining to Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) that he has no business being in the jungle. While her tone is soothing and sultry, the actual words chill you, "What are you doing so deep in the jungle? Don't you know what you are?"

The action-filled trailer introduces us to Bill Murray-voiced Baloo the bear, Ben Kingsley's Bagheera the panther, Idris Elba's villain Shere Khan and Christopher Walken's King Louie the orangutan. The film will also star Lupita Nyong'o as Raksha and Giancarlo Esposito as Akela.

However, the only one we do 'meet' is Johansson as the snake Kaa. And when Favreau cuts to the slithering reptile, it is disconcerting and thrilling to match the voice with the face. "I'll keep you close. Let go of your fear now, and trust in me," she says.

It is moments like that which emphasise that this is not the animated retelling of Rudyard Kipling's classic that we have all learnt to love but an adult, frightening world. However, the Iron Man director nods to the spirit of The Jungle Book as the trailer ends - we see Mowgli sitting on Baloo's tummy as they float down the river to the strains of Bare Necessities. And in that moment, the two dramatically different versions just meld together. Mr Favreau, we do trust in you

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