Jon Favreau is definitely going “all in” as he prepares to start work on his live-action meets CG animation take on “The Jungle Book” for Disney. He’s just booked another huge name for the project, Bill Murray to voice Baloo the famous bear. Can’t go wrong with Bill.
If for some reason you don’t know who Baloo is, he’s the happy and easygoing bear best known from the 1967 ‘toon version for singing the awesome “Bare Necessities” song and for being Mowgli’s best friend.
Who else is there?
Mowgli, an orphan adopted by friendly animals from the jungle, is played by Neel Sethi, and Favreau has gathered some A-list actors to join the gang.
The crew already includes Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Scarlet Johansson as Kaa, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Christopher Walken as King Louie and Giancarlo Esposito as Akela.
Favreau’s take on the tale definitely sounds promising. The release date is set for October 9, 2015.
What else is cooking?
Jon is not the only filmmaker who is planning to re-animate the famous jungle story. Andy Serkis is also making his own version for Warner Bros. and has announced a release date for his project with a slightly different title and he’s yet to start assembling his cast. Favreau has certainly set the bar high, so we’ll see what Andy has up his sleeve.
Serkis’ film will be called “Jungle Book: Origins,” and he’ll start shooting next year. Release date for “Origins” is October 21, 2016.
Hm… Two similar movies in only 12 months sounds quite risky for both sides, but since the jungle is massive, we’re sure there will be enough room for both projects. Stay tuned.