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Disney's 'Jungle Book' has found its Mowgli

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.

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Casting Net: Ben Kingsley joins voice cast of Disney's 'The Jungle Book'; Plus, Rooney Mara, Jason Sudeikis, more

Oscar winner Ben Kingsley will provide the voice of panther Bagheera in Disney’s upcoming film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. The movie, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), will be a combination of live-action and animation with a script by Justin Marks. Kingsley joins previously announced stars Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Scarlett Johansson (Her), and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) as the voices of Shere Khan, Kaa, and Rakcha, respectively, for a scheduled Oct. 9, 2015, release. [THR] READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson in talks to star in 'The Jungle Book'; Plus, Zooey Deschanel, more

12 Years A Slave Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and The Avengers‘s Scarlett Johansson are both in talks to lend their voices to Disney’s upcoming live-action/CG adaption of The Jungle Book. Nyong’o is currently in talks to play Rakcha, the mother wolf who adopts Mowgli, while Johansson is in early negotiations to lend her voice to the character of Kaa, a python who eats its victims by hypnotizing them. Iron Man‘s Jon Favreau is set to direct the film based on the classic novel by Rudyard Kipling which will also star Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom‘s Idris Elba as the voice of Shere Khan the tiger. [The Hollywood Reporter]
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Andy Serkis will direct live-action 'The Jungle Book'

Andy Serkis — also known as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies and The Hobbit’s second unit director – is set to take a break from the Tolkien universe to direct the live-action The Jungle Book from Warner Bros., according to The Hollywood Reporter.

This will be the actor’s feature directing debut. Babel director Alejandro González Iñárritu was previously in the running to direct.

This The Jungle Book is one of two Jungle Book films in the works right now — the other is being made by Disney.

Casting Net: Jude Law in talks to join Melissa McCarthy in spy comedy; Plus, Idris Elba, more

• Jude Law (The Grand Budapest Hotel) is in talks to join Melissa McCarthy (The Heat) and Rose Byrne (Insidious: Chapter 2) in the upcoming spy comedy Susan Cooper. Jason Statham (The Transporter) has also been confirmed to co-star in the upcoming film, which centers on the adventures of a James Bond-esque female spy. [The Wrap] READ FULL STORY

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu in talks to direct 'The Jungle Book' for Warner Bros.

Alejandro González Iñárritu is in early talks to direct a live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book for Warner Bros. Deadline first reported the news.

The two-time Oscar nominee is best known for directing lyrical adult dramas, including 21 Grams, Biutiful, Amores Perros, and Babel, but seems to be expanding his repertoire lately. Iñárritu is currently in post-production on his first major comedy, Birdman, which stars Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, and Michael Keaton.

Warner Bros. declined to comment on the news.

Little is known about the project at this point, but telling the story of the young boy raised in the jungle for a major studio would be another departure for the Mexico City-native. Newcomer Callie Kloves has already written the script, and Harry Potter scribe Steve Kloves is set to produce.

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'Alice in Wonderland 2' and 'The Jungle Book' snag release dates

Disney laid claim to a number of far off release dates for some of their biggest upcoming properties on Friday.

The live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book will open on Oct. 9, 2015, while the Johnny Depp-fronted Alice in Wonderland 2 is set for a May 27, 2016 release.

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Jon Favreau in talks to direct Disney's 'The Jungle Book'

Walt Disney Pictures has found its director for the upcoming live-action version of The Jungle Book.

EW has confirmed that Iron Man director Jon Favreau will helm the film based on the book by Rudyard Kipling, which tells the story of an orphan boy named Mowgli who is raised by wolves and lives in the jungle among the animals.  Favreau will join Justin Marks who has been tapped to adapt Kipling’s classic tale for the big screen. Deadline first reported the news.
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