Above is the first piece of concept art Disney has released for “The Jungle Book,” which looks more like the 1967 animated version of the Rudyard Kipling tale. But director Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” critics’ fave “Chef”) is attempting a film more along the lines of “Life of Pi” or “Avatar,” a photorealistic fully immersive 3D world with lush environments and amazing animated animals.
Starring 10-year-old Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley and Lupita N’yongo, Disney’s “Jungle Book” remake is slated for an October 9, 2015 release. Here’s more official language from Disney:
Directed by Jon Favreau (“Chef,” “Iron Man,” “Elf”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “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). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johannsson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.
The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world.
The film is written by Justin Marks (“Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li”) and produced by Brigham Taylor, who’s also bringing Disney’s “Tomorrowland,” starring George Clooney, into theaters in 2015.