The man, the myth, the legend, actor Bill Murray has been announced to voice Baloo in Walt Disney’s new live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book. Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man; Chef; Elf), The Jungle Book will be hitting theaters next year with a special take on animated and real animals – assumably much like Life of Pi. Learn more about the project after the break.
Mr. William Murray is not unfamiliar with voice acting; his whimsical voice has brought life to the iconic orange cat Garfield, and he has also lent his vocal talents to portray a badger in Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. Baloo is a loveable, goofy bear that loves the finer things in life: food and sleeping. Murray’s laid back demeanor and simple charm should play well into the character.
This voice cast is shaping up fairly well. Walt Disney also recently announced that Christopher Walken will play King Louie the ape and Giancarlo Esposito will play Akela the great lone wolf. Murray will also join a stellar list of actors who have been named, including Ben Kingsley as Bagheera the black panther, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha the mother wolf, Idris Elba as Shere Khan the tiger, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa the python, and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli.
The only characters that are left to cast, that is if they choose to use them, are the vultures, the elephants, and “The Girl.” How closely they will stick to the Disney Animation film or to the original story by Rudyard Kipling is unconfirmed. Unlike 1994 live-action film adaptation, this version of The Jungle Book seems to veer more closely to the animated film with the colorful cast of voice actors and the foretold use of CGI animals.
Scripted by Justin Marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li), The Jungle Book is set to hit theaters in 2D and 3D on October 9, 2015.
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