By Justin Cook
Warner Bros. is certainly getting together an all-star cast for it’s upcoming 2016 film Jungle Book: Origins.
Actors joining the film to voice animal characters include Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Naomie Harris, Jack Reynor, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan, and Peter Mullan.
Young actor Ronan Chand will play Mowgli, the lead character in the story of The Jungle Book. This year Chand starred with Jason Bateman in his directorial debut Bad Words.
The Jungle Book is a classic story about a young boy named Mowgli who has been raised in the jungles of India by numerous members of the animal kingdom. He must learn the rules of the jungle from his two friends, a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera. Baloo and Bagheera also must protect Mowgli from the dangers of the jungle, including an evil tiger named Shere Khan.
Motion capture expert Andy Serkis, who will also be directing the film, will voice Baloo. He recently played the role of Caesar in the summer hit Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in which his performance received much critical acclaim.
Bale will voice Bagheera the panther and Cumberbatch will be playing the film’s villain, Shere Khan. Bale rarely does voiceover work, the last time being 2004’s Howl’s Moving Castle, but it will definitely be interesting to see him step into this role.
Blanchett will voice Kaa, Harris will voice Nisha, Hollander will voice Tabaqui, Reynor will voice Brother Wolf, Marsan will voice Vihaan, and finally Mullan will voice Akela.
The upcoming film will be Serkis’s directorial debut after years of giving strong performances in films such as The Lord of the Rings, The Prestige, and King Kong.
In 2015 and 2016, two separate Jungle Book film adaptations are set to come out. The first of which is simply titled The Jungle Book and will be directed by Iron Man and Chef director Jon Favreau. The film’s cast includes Christopher Walken, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong’o, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba and Giancarlo Esposito.
The films will open almost exactly a year apart, with The Jungle Book due out on October 9, 2015 and Jungle Book: Origins coming out on October 21, 2016.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter