Christopher Walken’s amicable orangutan King Louie – Jungle VIP, King of the Swingers etc. – takes the spotlight in the latest image for The Jungle Book, Jon Favreau’s technical marvel that is primed to leap into theaters at the beginning of April.
Prior to Disney’s Super Bowl clip, King Louie had largely remained on the sidelines of the film’s marketing parade, which has instead focused on Mowgli (Neel Sethi) and Ben Kingsley’s watchful protector, Bagheera. Indeed, core elements of Rudyard Kipling’s beloved 1894 fairytale may remain, but the ways in which the House of Mouse is bringing The Jungle Book to the big screen are totally different.
Mixing together live-action sequences with bleeding-edge CGI, Favreau’s modern retelling evokes memories of Ang Lee’s Life of Pi in terms of visuals. When quizzed about the iconic musical numbers that helped make Disney’s original film an instant classic, the director reaffirmed that his take on the classic adventure will still pay homage to Bare Necessities and the like.
“You don’t want it to be a musical, so people feel characters can’t get hurt or killed,” Favreau tells Empire. “But these songs are classics. There’s not as much music as in the original, but the key moments that you’re looking for, you’ll find we honoured.”
Starring opposite Sethi, Kingsley and Walken for the feature are Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Ineson, Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Lupita Nyong’o, and Idris Elba as the ferocious Shere Khan.
Jon Favreau is cooking up a whole new variety of Old Mother Nature’s recipes with The Jungle Book, and the resulting dish will be available from April 15.
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).