Lupita Nyong'o & Scarlett Johansson In Talks For The Jungle Book

Jon Favreau rounds up friends old and new


With her first Oscar under her belt for an amazing performance in 12 Years A Slave, people have been wondering what Lupita Nyong’o would do next. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she’s in talks alongside Scarlett Johansson for a voice role in Disney’s new live action/CG version of The Jungle Book.

Jon Favreau, who is tackling the updated adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling tale, is looking to cast Nyong’o as Rackcha, a mother wolf who initially adopts the human orphan Mowgli. Johansson, on the other hand, would bring her famously hypnotising pipes to voice Kaa, the snake who charms victims before killing and eating them.

Both actresses are in negotiations for the roles and no deals have been struck yet, but if they sign on, they’ll join Idris Elba, who is voicing lethal tiger Shere Khan. Favreau is still looking for an actor to play Mowgli, working from a script by Justin Marks and looking to shooting this year for an October 9, 2015 release date in the US before the film heads over here on October 16. The Mouse House wants to push its Book into the world before Warner Bros.’ attempt, which has Andy Serkis set to direct.

Given that this will feature mostly voice duties and possibly some performance capture, the role would give Nyong’o space to book other films, though she’s still deciding what to do next. Johansson is at work on Avengers: Age Of Ultron and will be seen in Luc Besson’s action thriller Lucy, which arrives here on August 22.