In development since 2012, and perpetually delayed since missing its release date two years ago, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is finally hitting theaters this December—looking as worse for wear as its grotesquely mangy Baloo. The film is Andy Serkis’s inauspicious directorial debut, a project long set up as Mowgli at Warner Bros. Now saddled with a needless, generic subtitle (did we learn nothing from King Arthur: Legend of the Sword?), Netflix has scooped up the rights and will drop it on only select screens as it heads to streaming. And from the looks of it, that’s exactly the correct path for this thing.
Despite knowing Mowgli‘s origins, its trailer makes it seem like yet another drama Netflix shipped in transatlantic from the BBC. The digital effects are pretty damn rough—the wolf models may well be hijacked from Alpha and Omega—and for whatever reason, Serkis himself has given Baloo a voice that suggests he’s going to teach Mowgli snooker at the local pub. The only hint of being a major studio’s unduly expensive production is the rest of the voice cast, which features the likes of Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Naomie Harris.
If you’re ready for a darker, shoddier run through Rudyard Kipling’s classic, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle hits limited theaters and Netflix December 7.