It looks like Disney has finally found the real boy they’re willing to let be raised by their animated wolves: the studio announced today that they’d found the Mowgli for their upcoming live-action/animated Jungle Book adaptation.
The studio has chosen 10-year-old Neel Sethi for the role in the Jon Favreau film. And holy cats, can you imagine being a 10-year-old told that you’re going to be the only human element holding Disney’s next big budget project together? Have we learned nothing from wee little Jake Lloyd?
The Jungle Book will retell the tale of Mowgli, a child left to fend for himself in the wild before being adopted by wolves. Rudyard Kipling’s collection of short stories offered fables teaching its young readers how to be and how to live, morality, respect for family, and respect for oneself.
At least Sethi will be acting opposite some terrific voices: Idris Elba is in all likelihood going to kill it as the evil tiger Shere Khan, with Sir Ben Kingsley recently agreeing to add his measured kind of cool to the role of Mowgli’s friend and mentor, the panther Bagheera. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong’o are also currently in talks for roles in the October 25 release.
This is Disney’s fourth stab at The Jungle Book, following a pair of animated films and a live-action adaptation starring Jason Scott Lee and Jason Scott Lee’s mighty pectoral muscles back in 1994. That film nixed the talking animals for a more naturalistic approach. It was weird, man.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]