Huge news for Warner Bros. today as its Rudyard Kipling adaptation Jungle Book: Origins has just announced its main cast. Yesterday, we heard that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch had joined the Andy Serkis-directed project as the voice of fearsome tiger Shere Khan, and now a menagerie of stars has also come aboard.
Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan will all take on the parts of animals in the titular jungle, while Rohan Chand (Bad Words) will play the human boy Mowgli. Serkis has also been confirmed to be taking on a role.
Callie Kloves, daughter of Harry Potter scribe Steve Kloves, penned the script, while her father is on board in a producing capacity. The film will employ motion capture, CGI animation and live-action.
Serkis will play Baloo the bear, while Bale will voice the panther Bagheera. Both save Mowgli (Chand) from the vicious tiger Shere Khan (Cumberbatch) and teach him the ways of the jungle.
Blanchett will lend her voice to the seductive python Kaa, who befriends Mowgli, while Hollander will be taking on the role of Tabaqui, a jackal and crony of Shere Khan. Mullan is playing Akela, the leader of the wolf pack that raises Mowgli, and Harris is female wolf Nisha. Marsan will play Nisha’s mate, Vihaan.
Now that the casting is complete, Warner Bros.’ adaptation can take further steps to catch up to Disney’s competing Jungle Book adaptation, which Jon Favreau is directing.
Jungle Book: Origins opens October 21st, 2016, just over a year after Disney’s take.