Ben Kingsley Joins Disney’s “The Jungle Book”

The battle of the rival “Jungle Book” live-action adaptations continues with Jon Favreau’s version for Disney Pictures having landed Ben Kingsley for a key role.

The live-action/CGI combination adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s beloved novel follows a young boy named Mowgli raised in the wilderness by a pack of wolves, a bear and a black panther.

Kingsley will play said black panther Bagheera. He joins a cast that includes Lupita Nyong’o as mother wolf Rakcha, Scarlett Johansson as the hypnotic python Kaa, and Idris Elba as the villainous tiger Shere Khan. The key roles of Mowgli and the bear Baloo have yet to be cast.

Favreau is helming from a script by Justin Marks. The film is in a race against the Andy Serkis directed adaptation which isn’t as far along and is said to be a much more adult, dark and gritty take.

Favreau’s version is scheduled for October 9th 2015.

Source: Disney Pictures