Andy Serkis’ Mowgli movie is now a Netflix exclusive

The Andy Serkis-directed Mowgli will be debuting on Netflix in 2019 instead of in movie theaters.

Netflix is acquiring the worldwide rights to the movie from Warner Bros., which would make the movie the latest to shift to a streaming service instead of debuting in movie theaters. Deadline first reported the news Friday and Techhnews has received confirmation from Warner Bros. Netflix did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Netflix has struck similar deals that in 2018 led Alex Garland’s Annihilaton to debut internationally on Netflix with a theatrical release in the US, and for The Cloverfield Paradox to have its international premiere on the service.

Mowgli was originally set to debut on Oct. 19, 2018 in the US, but the film will shift to a 2019 release as part of the deal. The star-studded film features Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale and Matthew Rhys, while Mowgli himself is played by Rohan Chand.

Serkis’ Mowgli and Disney’s live-action version of The Jungle Book were in production at about the same time, with Serkis telling the outlet that Mowgli ultimately needed more time to achieve the performance capture desired for the movie.

“We took our time with the performance capture, allowing the animators to make the most of the great performances by Blanchett, Cumberbatch and Christian Bale, to bring them to life in the most extraordinary way we could,” Serkis told Deadline.

Serkis also said that he is excited for Netflix’s release of the movie, stating that the streaming service understands that his Mowgli is meant for a different audience than the previous Disney film.

“They understand this is a darker telling that doesn’t fit it into a four quadrant slot. It’s really not meant for young kids, though I think it’s possible that 10 or above can watch it,” Serkis said.

First published July 27, 2019 at 10:49 a.m. PT.
Update 12:11 p.m. PT: Adds confirmation from Warner Bros.

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