**UPDATE 8/1/2014 – Bill Murray has been added to the voice cast as Baloo the Bear!
Set to premiere in theaters(in 3D) on October 9, 2015 is Walt Disney Studios newest movie, The Jungle Book. While there is already an animated Jungle Book 1 & 2, this version is said to be a combination of live-action & animation. The Jungle Book is directed by Jon Favreau from a script by Justin Marks.
A star-studded cast will voice the characters – Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Golden Globe winner Idris Elba as Shere Khan, and Scarlett Johansson as Kaa. Two more actors just recently joined the voice cast. Academy Award winner Christopher Walken will take on the role of King Louie,and Giancarlo Esposito (Critics Choice Award winner and Emmy nominee for Breaking Bad) will voice Akela, the leader of the wolf pack.The Jungle Book also marks the debut of newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli, who will be the only actor to physically appear on screen.
From a press release –
After an extensive worldwide search ranging from New York to New Zealand, London to Canada, and all throughout the United States and India, The Walt Disney Studios is pleased to announce that 10-year-old Neel Sethi will play the part of Mowgli in Disney’s The Jungle Book. Neel is a newcomer from New York picked from among thousands of auditions, and his role in The Jungle Book marks his first foray into acting.
“Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative,” said director Jon Favreau. “Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it.”
“Neel embodies the heart, humor, and daring of the character,” adds casting director Sarah Finn. “He’s warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation. Even though he has no professional acting experience, his natural charisma and instincts jumped out at us.”
This new version of The Jungle Book is looking to be amazing. As we receive more information regarding this film, we will keep you posted!