Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book Finds Its Mowgli

Newcomer Neel Sethi will be raised by wolves

Jon Favreau's Jungle Book Finds Its Mowgli

by James White |
Published on


With several well known names already aboard Jon Favreau’s ambitious new Jungle Book for Disney, the search has been on to find the actor to play Mowgli, the human at the centre of the tale. Now Favreau has settled on 10-year-old newcomer Neel Sethi, who will be plunged into the world of blockbuster filmmaking for his first big gig{ =nofollow}. The director published a picture of the young star-to-be on his Instagram account.

Adapted as usual from Rudyard Kipling’s tales (this time by writer Justin Marks), the new version of the story will keep a lot of the traditional elements – human orphan Mowgli is raised by animals in the jungle and learns life lessons from them – while being brought to life by cutting edge digital technology for a blend of live-action and animation. Sethi, for example, will be the only actor to appear on screen.

The director, however, clearly thinks he’s ready. “Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative,” says Favreau in a statement run by The Hollywood Reporter. “Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it.”

Favreau already has Idris Elba on board to voice Shere Khan, with Ben Kingsley set as Bagheera. Scarlett Johansson is in talks to voice Kaa, with Lupita Nyong’o also circling, making a deal to play Rackcha, the wolf mother who initially cares for Mowgli. The cameras should be cranking soon ready for an October 16, 2015 release date over here.

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