Warner Brothers and director Andy Serkis didn’t accept any bare necessities when assembling the Jungle Book: Origins cast, made official today by the studio as the start of production creeps up.
Previously announced leads Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale headline the ensemble cast that will be tasked with extensive motion-capture work to bring their animal characters pulled from the pages of Rudyard Kipling’s classic The Jungle Book to life. Cumberbatch plays the tiger, Shere Khan; Blanchett the evil snake, Kaa; and Bale brings the panther, Bagheera, to life.
Other mo-capped roles include Andy Serkis as the wise bear, Baloo; Peter Mullan as the leader of the wolf pack, Akela; Tom Hollander as the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui; Naomie Harris as the female wolf, Nisha; Eddie Marsan as Nisha’s mate, Vihaan; and Jack Reynor as Mowgli’s Brother Wolf.
The lone human actor is young Rohan Chand (The Hundred-Foot Journey, Bad Words) as the boy raised by wolves, Mowgli.
Serkis, fresh off an unknown role in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, makes his directorial debut with Jungle Book: Origins. He seems the perfect man for the job considering his pioneering work in motion capture that ranges from Gollum to Caesar to King Kong himself. There’s no better man on the planet to coach a cast including multiple Oscar winners through motion-capture performances.
Here’s the Jungle Book: Origins movie official synopsis:
The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli, raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.
Jungle Book: Origins swings into theaters in 3D on October 21, 2016.