Now that Jon Favreau has tracked down the young man he wants to play Mowgli, the Iron Man director is turning his attention back to recruiting recognisable names for his new live-action/animated take on The Jungle Book. He now has Christopher Walken and Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito on board.
With a script by Justin Marks, Favreau’s film will use the blend of computer-generated animals and Neel Sethi in person as Mowgli, the human orphan raised by animals in the jungle to unspool Rudyard Kipling's story. Walken is set to voice King Louie, the leader of the jungle’s monkeys and apes, still best known for his ‘I Wanna Be Like You' song from Disney’s 1967 ‘toon version. Esposito, meanwhile, will be Akela, leader of the wolf pack that initially cares for Mowgli.
They join a cast that already includes Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba and Scarlett Johansson, who will all lend their vocals to the film. Esposito, of course, has previously worked with Favreau, as he was part of the cast for the now-defunct TV drama Revolution. Walken, last seen in Jersey Boys, next has The Family Fang and When I Live My Life Over Again on his to-do list. Favreau plans to have The Jungle Book on UK screens for October 16, 2015.