Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito join live-action 'Jungle Book'

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Image Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Christopher Walken is officially king of the swingers.

Disney revealed today that the Oscar winner has joined the cast of its increasingly star-studded live action Jungle Book remake. Walken is set to voice the ape monarch King Louie, a part sure to be as flamboyant as his upcoming turn in NBC’s Peter Pan Live. (In Disney’s 1967 animated musical, Louie is the one who sings the jazzy classic “I Wanna Be Like You.”)

Also joining the film’s ranks: Emmy nominee Giancarlo Esposito, who already has experience playing a classic Disney character. (He portrayed Once Upon a Time‘s genie-turned-magic-mirror way back in season one.) This time around, Esposito will voice Akela, the leader of the wolf pack that adopts human child Mowgli (played in the film by 10-year-old first-time actor Neel Sethi).

The two newcomers join a cast of high-profile voice actors that already includes Ben Kingsley as noble panther Bagheera, Lupita Nyong’o as mother wolf Raksha, Idris Elba as wicked tiger Shere Khan, and Scarlett Johansson as the hypnotic snake Kaa. Sethi will be the only actor to physically appear onscreen throughout the film.


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