The Jungle Book is full of tigers, monkeys, and bears—but its most important element may be the human boy at the heart of it all.
In a release, Disney announced that 10-year-old New Yorker Neel Sethi will play the part of Mowgli in director Jon Favreau’s upcoming live action-and-animated adaption of Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel. Sethi has no professional acting experience, but earned praise from both Favreau and casting director Sarah Finn for his ability to hold an audience—a necessary skill, as Sethi will be the only actor onscreen in this version of the story.
The other characters will all appear through animation, and the voice cast is pretty impressive: Ben Kingsley (Gandhi), as the panther Bagheera, Idris Elba (Luther) as the tiger Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson (Her) as the snake Kaa, and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) as Raksha the mother wolf. The script is being written by Justin Marks, and the film is scheduled to open in theaters on October 9, 2015.