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Freida Pinto's role
She will play either Mowgli's mother or Messua, or perhaps a Composite Character of the two.
  • Confirmed in an interview with Freida Pinto. She'll play "Mowgli's adoptive mother", Messua (who, in this version, is explicitly different from Mowgli's biological mother).

Kaa will finally be a good guy like the book counterpart
If the film aims to be closer to the source material, then Kaa will not be a villain, but more of an Old Master.
  • Very likely. Serkis has stated her to be an 'ancient soul' of the jungle, and described her to be some kind of seer.
  • Confirmed. She's a powerful seer who has something of an Above Good and Evil attitude, but she protects Mowgli because she saw that he's going to bring peace to the jungle.
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Every character will be closer to their book counterpart than in other adaptations
Besides Kaa being an Old Master, also Baloo will be a stern old teacher, Bagheera will be a cool, snarky Big Brother Mentor, Akela will be a Cool Old Guy, Hathi will be a powerful figure respected by all of the jungle, and Shere Khan will be a Handicapped Badass.
  • Confirmed for Baloo, Akela, Hathi, and Shere Khan. Downplayed with Bagheera, who is a Big Brother Mentor, but also a dead serious character with his Deadpan Snarker moments from the book completely missing.

The trailers for the movie will have to be extremely different from the ones for the recent Disney film.
The Disney film has been a critical and commercial dynamo, so this Jungle Book will have to have marketing that will keep people from thinking of that flick and not wanting to see this one. This would entail...
  • Very little of Kaa in the trailer.
  • Mowgli being angst filled and talking a lot about it.
  • Shere Khan acting very sophisticated, not roaring at all.
  • Humans encountering animals with them being the focus of the shot.
  • An uplifting and bright beginning followed by a dark, somber final note and shot.
  • Mowgli encountering humans.
  • The wolves fighting among themselves.
    • Confirmed for most points, except for the "uplifting beginning" - the entire trailer, from the beginning to the end, has a Darker and Edgier feel.
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Baloo will look like a sloth bear rather than a brown bear.
In every adaptation so far, Baloo looked more like a brown bear (except for the Russian Adventures of Mowgli, where he looked like an Asian Black Bear). In this version he will finally get the long, black fur of sloth bears.
  • Jossed. Baloo is once again a brown bear in this version. Which is technically Truer to the Text as he was referred to as a brown bear in the original publication.

The Bandar-Log will work for Shere Khan.
One scene in the trailer shows Shere Khan talking to Mowgli in what appears to be the monkey temple. Perhaps the monkeys in this version are convinced (threatened?) by Shere Khan to kidnap and bring Mowgli to him.
  • Confirmed.

Kaa will save Mowgli from Shere Khan and the Bandar-Log.
The scene in the trailer featuring Kaa appears to be in the same place where the monkeys took Mowgli. Since the film will be Truer to the Text, they might be re-enacting the part from the book where Baloo and Bagheera has to enlist Kaa's help to rescue Mowgli from the Bandar-Log. As a bonus, in stark contrast to the Disney version, Shere Khan will be fearful of Kaa knowing what she's capable of.

Lockwood is John Lockwood Kipling.
He survived his encounter with Hathi, but due to his injuries he gave up hunting and spent the rest of his life as an artist, teacher and museum curator. He told his son Rudyard about his hunting days and his encounter with Mowgli, which inspired Rudyard to write The Jungle Book.

Akela's pack are not all pure-blooded wolves.
Some generations ago, the wolves in the pack interacted and mated with the dogs from a human village. As a result, some wolves in the pack carry dog DNA. This is why Nisha and her cubs have white patches on their faces. In Bhoot's case, both his parents carried dog genes, resulting his very dog-like look with curly tail and floppy ears.

The Uncanny Valley effect is due to Mowgli's perception.
The reason the animal's faces look strange to us is that we're seeing them through Mowgli's eyes; being human, he instinctively sees them with part-human facial proportions, and that looks normal to him.
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