More Justin Theroux? More Carver Twins? More Christopher Eccleston? Yes Please!
Andy Serkis’ jungle is becoming more crowded. Just yesterday, we reported that Benedict Cumberbatch had signed on to star in the actor’s directorial debut, a take on Rudyard Kipling’s famous tale called Jungle Book: Origins. Today there is a whole swathe of additional casting announcements, with word that Christian Bale, Naomie Harris, Cate Blanchett, Peter Mullan, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Rohan Chand have joined what is now a hugely impressive ensemble.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Serkis will also be acting in the film, playing Baloo the bear, the friendly type who befriends the young human orphan Mowgli (Chand, a veteran of Lone Survivor who’s back on our screens in The Hundred-Foot Journey next month).
As for everyone else? Bale is on as the fearsome yet protective panther Bagheera, while Blanchett will have carte blanche to be slinky and hypnotic voicing the dangerous snake Kaa, with Hollander as Shere Khan’s (Cumberbatch) jackal henchman Tabaqui. Mullan is Akela, the leader of the wolf pack that raises Mowgli, Harris will be female wolf Nisha and Marsan will be Vihaan, her mate.
With a script from Callie Kloves – daughter of Harry Potter regular screenwriter Steve, who is an executive producer here for Warner Bros. – Serkis will be shooting soon using a mixture of live-action, performance capture and CG animation to bring the story to life. Serkis’ version of The Jungle Book is set for October 21, 2016, which places it a year after Jon Favreau’s Disney-driven new live-action/CG blend version, due late next year.