'Mowgli' world premiere in Mumbai had Christian Bale, Frieda Pinto, Kareena Kapoor and others in attendance

Cast of 'Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle' at the film's world premiere in Mumbai. Image by Yogen Shah Photograph:( WION Web Team )

WION Web Team Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Nov 26, 2018, 11.43 AM (IST)

It was a starry night where Hollywood celebrities and stars from Bollywood hobnobbed and celebrated Netflix new film 'Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle'. 

Directed by  Andy Serkis, the live-action film will be releasing in both English and Hindi versions. Some of the biggest names of Bollywood have lent their voices to the Hindi version. On Sunday night Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor interacted and posed for photos with stars Christian Bale and Frieda Pinto- who feature in the Hollywood version of the film at the premiere of the film. 

Pinto, who plays the part of Messua- Mowgli`s human mother- said that during the South Africa leg of their shoot, Andy had told her to play her part in Hindi too."So for me to go to South Africa and actually work with fellow actors all speaking in Hindi, and all the other things I associate with India came to life with this movie," she further said, while describing her journey with the movie.

Walking down the memory lane, Pinto recalled how one would watch `The Jungle Book` in Hindi every Sunday when it aired on Doordarshan. "There was so much of human life in the village that was captured in that version, and I have not seen that version anywhere else," she added. Pinto even credited Andy for making this film an "ode to India".

Mowgli premiere

The director, earlier in the day, spoke about how the film is closest to Rudyard Kipling's book. "I am just thrilled beyond belief that we are bringing the film back to its roots to tell this story, interpretation of which has never been seen in a country that inspired... It would have not happened if not for Netflix. The tone of this story is much closer to Rudyard Kipling`s book than other versions. It was very important for me to make the film which is very closely linked to Indian culture," Andy said.
The world premiere also saw the unveiling of the Hindi trailer of the much- anticipated movie.  The lead of the film, Rohan Chand, also made an appearance.

One of the highlights of the event was Anil Kapoor and Andy Serkis- both of whom are voicing Baloo in their respective languages- mimicking a bear while looking at each other.

The casting for both the English as well as the Hindi version is quite interesting. Anil Kapoor has lent his voice for the ever-so-friendly character of Baloo and Abhishek Bachchan plays Bagheera, the black panther. Kareena, on the other hand, dubbed for the giant python Kaa, Jackie Shroff is Shere Khan. Madhuri Dixit joins the jungle as the character of Nisha, who is the wolf mother to Mowgli.

Meanwhile, the English voice cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Cate Blanchett as the snake Kaa, director Andy Serkis as the voice of the bear Baloo, and Christian Bale as Bagheera the panther. The English cast also stars Naomie Harris, Peter Mullan, and Matthew Rhys. Based on Rudyard Kipling`s classic novel `The Jungle Book`, the movie will stream on Netflix on December 7.

This is the first time a Hollywood film premiered in India first.

Story highlights

Directed by  Andy Serkis, the live-action film will be releasing in both English and Hindi versions.