Rudyard Kipling’s indelible The Jungle Book is about the get a new lease of life in 2016 courtesy of Iron Man and Chef director Jon Favreau, and today Disney (via Empire) has shared the latest image of newcomer Neel Sethi in the star role as Mowgli.
Cradling one of his adoptive wolf-parents, Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o), Sethi’s wet behind the ears jungle dweller is still coming to terms with life in the thick of the forest, and today’s still teases the emotional side of Favreau’s reimagining of Kipling’s grand old adventure.
Landing the role of Mowgli in Disney’s 2016 blockbuster proved to be no mean feat for Sethi either, who auditioned for the part alongside close to 2,000 candidates. Recently, Favreau heaped praise on his newfound lead, who he believes boasts the perfect balance of charisma and charm to portray such a cherished role on the silver screen.
“There was a certain quality we wanted, and we knew he was going to have to carry the film. So it was going to have to be somebody that had a certain charisma, a certain charm and certain qualities that I remember from the cartoon.”
Flanked by an enviable cast of A-listers, Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ Nyong’o and Sethi are joined by Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, and Ben Kingsley for the old-school romp, which will incorporate elements of CGI and live-action in its journey to launch.
Prepare for a journey both familiar and brand new when Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book dances merrily into theaters on April 15, 2016.
The Jungle Book is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray).