Academy Award-winning star Christian Bale, who famously played Batman in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, is in Mumbai with actor-director Andy Serkis for the premiere of their much-awaited film ‘Mowgli: Legend Of the Jungle’.
Actress Frieda Pinto and Indian-American child actor Rohan Chand were in the city as well to promote the movie, which explores the darker side of author Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’. ‘Mowgli’, to be released on Netflix on December 7, is based on the 19th century tale by Rudyard Kipling of a boy who grew up in the jungles of India with animals.
Its India connect makes the country “perfect” for the premiere, which was held on Sunday at the Yash Raj Films studio, Serkis said.
Serkis, who has voiced the free-spirited bear named Baloo in the upcoming film, took to Instagram to share some updates.
“Junket in Mumbai,” he wrote alongside a photograph in which he is posing in front of the film’s poster.
Four days ago, he had shared a still from the movie, and wrote: “I’m happy beyond my wildest dreams that ‘Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle’ will be having its world premiere in Mumbai on November 25. For India to host the first ever major Hollywood movie premiere here, the birthplace of Kipling’s masterpiece, is nothing less than perfect.”
Bale has voice-starred in the movie alongside Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris and Serkis.
The actor, who last visited India in 2011 to promote ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, parts of which were shot in Rajasthan, said this time he came with his family.
“We travelled through Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and just arrived here in Mumbai. We have seen tiny-tiny parts of this incredible country which has got a world within itself. But it was so important for ‘Mowgli’ to come here to India,” he said.
In ‘Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle’, Bale has voiced the character of the protective-but-friendly panther Bagheera.
“I met Andy first when I was 19 years old... He’s a phenomenal actor and he has mastered this motion capture thing.... He guided me on that and eventually it comes down to acting,” he said. “With performance capture you get to act directly.”
He was also full of praise for child actor Rohan Chand, who plays Mowgli in the film.
“Rohan has got tons of different interests. He is more intelligent than I will ever be in my lifetime and just being curious... You got to walk away from films... Acting doesn’t lead to better acting. I am someone who... I love working and not working and then start working. I love working. I never want to stop that. I like whatever I am doing.”
For the Indian market, ‘Mowgli: Legend Of the Jungle’ will also be dubbed in Hindi, for which star actors like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Jackie Shroff and Abhishek Bachchan have lent their voice.