UPDATE: the rest of the cast has been announced and it will feature Rohan Chand as Mowgli, Andy Serkis as the voice of Baloo, Christian Bale as the voice of Begheera, Cate Blanchett as the voice of Kaa, Tom Hollander as the voice of Kaa, Peter Mullan as the voice of Akela, Naomie Harris as the voice of Nisha and Eddie Marsan as the voice of Vihaan. The previous article announcing the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Shere Khan follows…
In 2015, Jon Favreau‘s The Jungle Book will hit theaters. One year and 13 days later, Andy Serkis‘s The Jungle Book: Origins will hit theaters. The difference being…? I’m not entirely sure, though the cast will certainly be different.
Favreau has already lined up newcomer Neel Sethi to play Mowgli alongside a variety of CG-animated characters including Idris Elba as the voice of Shere Khan, Bill Murray as Baloo, Christopher Walken as King Louie, Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, Ben Kingsley and Lupita Nyong’o as Bagheera and Raksha and Scarlett Johansson as Kaa. Now Serkis is beginning to fill out his cast.
First up is Benedict Cumberbatch who will voice the tiger Shere Khan in the film based on the short stories written by Rudyard Kipling, centering on Mowgli, an orphaned boy raised by wolves who befriends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther as he spars with the ferocious tiger Shere Khan.
Cumberbatch is the first to be named to the cast and this will serve as his third bit of voice work as of late as he also voices Smaug in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies as well as the North Wind in Penguins of Madagascar.
Serkis’ Jungle Book: Origins hits theaters on October 21, 2016 while you’ll see Favreau’s adaptation on October 9, 2015. [THR]