2 Aug – The long-awaited Andy Serkis-helmed "Mowgli" is finally gearing up for its worldwide audiences, they just won't be the ones sitting in cinema halls.
"Mowgli", previously known as "The Jungle Book" before undergoing a title change last December, has moved from Warner Bros. to Netflix.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has picked up the rights for the live-action/CGI movie and is planning to release it on its streaming platform in 2019.
It was previously dated for an October 2018 release in cinemas by Warner Bros.
The move could save "Mowgli" from being compared – at least in terms of box office collection – to Disney's Jon Favreau-directed "The Jungle Book", which opened in 2016 and went on to achieve commercial and critical success, even winning an Oscar for Best Visual Effects at the 89th Academy Awards.
Comparison in terms of storyline might still be inevitable, since both are gritty retelling of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book", though Serkis previously claimed that his version will be even grittier and darker than Disney's.
"Mowgli" has been on rocky grounds since pre-production begun in 2012, even with Andy Serkis putting his much applauded motion capture touch to it since 2014, essentially making this the actor's directorial debut, did not seem to have boosted the project much.
Five days after the "Mowgli" deal was made, Netflix has also acquired and is now developing Serkis' movie adaptation of George Orwell's "Animal Farm", which Serkis is directing and producing under his Imaginarium banner, Deadline reported.
Another Warner Bros. title that was also eyed by Netflix was "Crazy Rich Asians". However, this deal didn't materialise because, as director Jon M. Chu told the Hollywood Reporter, they (Chu, author Kevin Kwan, producer Nina Jacobson) "needed this to be an old-fashioned cinematic experience, not for fans to sit in front of a TV and just press a button."
So fans will still get to catch "Crazy Rich Asians" on the big screen, as it is opening in cinemas this month.