Standing as a contemporary update of the original animated film from 1967, Disney’s 2016 reboot of The Jungle Book is set to recast English author Rudyard Kipling’s classic work of collected stories into one grand live-action spectacle, replete with fully realized CGI animal characters for the film’s central protagonist Mowgli (Neel Sethi) to interact with. Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), the new movie should bring audiences something to engage on a level of sheer visceral immediacy when the film sees theatrical release next month.
As far as the kind of adventure viewers can expect from The Jungle Book; that’s still largely up for debate, though it’s expected to be less dark than the Jungle Book adaptation that first time director Andy Serkis and competing distributor Warner Bros. Studios are working on (under the title Jungle Book: Origins) for release in 2017. Either way, the cast and crew behind Disney’s latest take on the family favorite film property are all abuzz with excitement over what their movie has to offer audiences, as seen in the latest behind-the-scenes featurette.
In the video featured above, Favreau professes his own deeply held love and appreciation for the original animated Disney film based on Kipling’s great work stemming from his own youth, and relates his desire to recreate that very same cinematic narrative using modern film technology and equipment to tell the story of The Jungle Book in a way that would have been impossible some fifty years prior. Joining him in said enthusiasm and wonder for the project is the movie’s fantastically assembled cast of voice actors, most notably including Idris Elba as the Bengal tiger Shere Khan; Lupita Nyong’o as the mother wolf Raksha; Scarlett Johansson as the massive python Kaa; Christopher Walken as the giant orangutan King Louie; Sir Ben Kingsley as the black panther Bagheera; and Bill Murray as the brown bear Baloo.
Much of the word of mouth featured in this latest bit of promotional material for The Jungle Book certainly paints a grand and loving portrait of the behind the scenes aspect of this latest reboot of outstanding in house material. And taken in beside and compared to the still forthcoming reimagining of Pete’s Dragon due out later this summer, it would appear as though some of the most cherished Disney family film classics might just make the leap into the hearts of children growing up in the early twenty-first century in a big way.
Provided Favreau and company can be taken at their word, The Jungle Book should prove to be a moviegoing experience not to be missed over the course of the first quarter of the current calendar year, and might just drum up some renewed enthusiasm for the 1967 animated classic in the process. Even if you still wonder how emotionally compelling the CGI critters will be when compared to living animals, there appears to be plenty of wonder and enthusiasm for the film regardless.
The Jungle Book will open in U.S. theaters on April 15th, 2016.
Source: Walt Disney Studios