Not that Warner Brothers and Disney go head to head enough with their superhero movies (DC and Marvel) now they have both decided to produce their own adaptations of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
Disney has set their release for 2015. This remake is being directed by Jon Favreau, previous director credits include Iron Man and Cowboys and Aliens, and began filming just last week. The cast list includes A List celebrities like Scarlett Johansson as the mischievous snake Kaa, Idris Elba as the fierce Tiger Shere Kahn, Bill Murray as the lovable Baloo, Christopher Walken as the demanding King Louie, Ben Kingsley as the sly Bagheera, Lupita Nyong’o as mama wolf Rakcha and Giancarlo Esposito as head of the wolf pack Akela. These characters are all listed as voice only so it is safe to say that they will be using some incredible CGI but will it simply be a technological upgrade from their 1967 animated film? Well they are certainly taking a risk by casting Neel Sethi, a green actor, as Mowgli who will be filming with animals he won’t be able to see until the final project.
A couple hours ago Warner Bros finally announced the first actor confirmed for their remake set to come out in 2016. No stranger to voice over work or playing the bad guy Benedict Cumberbatch has signed on to voice Shere Kahn. Andy Serkis, best known for his role as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings franchise, will be making his directorial debut with the working title “Jungle Book: Origins.” No stranger for CG motion capture it is my hope that all the actors will be greatly involved in the final animals we see on screen as well as providing their voices. As always Serkis’ version is said to be a lot darker than its Disney counterpart.
Now all Jungle Book fans can do it sit and wait. May the best movie win!
*This morning casting additions were announced for the Warner Bros remake being directed by Andy Serkis. Serkis himself will be voicing Baloo, Cate Blanchett has signed on to voice Kaa, Jack Reynor will be Brother Wolf and Christian Bale will bring Bagheera to life.