After you win an Oscar for your first ever feature film performance, and then get chosen as People Magazine’s most beautiful person on the planet, what do you do next? You join a big-budget blockbuster, of course! That’s exactly what 12 Years A Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o has done, as Indiewire reports that her and Scarlett Johansson have been cast in Jon Favreau’s upcoming live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book.
The two actresses join Idris Elba, who will play the villainous tiger Shere Khan, and will similarly be playing animals. Nyong’o will take on the role of Raksha, the wolf that takes in and raises the orphan boy Mowgli, while Johansson will lend her voice to the hypnotic python, Kaa.
This will mark Johansson’s third film under Favreau’s direction (following Iron Man 2 and this year’s Chef), and is Nyongo’s first major big screen commitment after winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. At this point in her career she could probably pick and choose whichever project she wants, so something about The Jungle Book must have caught her attention.
Set to hit theaters on October 29, 2015, the film will compete with another Jungle Book adaptation over at Warner Bros., which is being directed by Andy Serkis. As of right now, Serkis’ version has no release date or cast attached, so Disney appears to have the lead, even if there are still several major roles left to be filled.
With three big name stars now on board, in Nyong’o, Johansson and Elba, expect to hear more casting news on The Jungle Book shortly.