In recent years, Disney Studios has seen success in adapting its animated classics to live action for a new generation. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland as well as Maleficent and Cinderella were box office successes, with the former earning a sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, due to be released next year. Now, Disney has multiple other live-action films in works that are based on their animated movies: Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Winnie the Pooh, Tinker Bell, Fantasia and Dumbo among many others.
Disney will also be releasing an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories, The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau (Chef, Iron Man) – not to be confused with Warner Bros. and Andy Serkis’ Jungle Book: Origins coming in 2017. In order to tease the trailer for The Jungle Book, Favreau and Disney have now released the first look online.
Favreau debuted the first footage from The Jungle Book on Vine, which gives viewers a short tour through the jungle and a brief look at a shadowed Mowgli (Neel Sethi). Disney Studios also released the clip on Instagram and announced tat the first trailer for The Jungle Book will arrive on Monday during Access Hollywood Live.
Although newcomer Sethi will portray the boy at the center of the film, other well-known actors will lend their voices to the animal characters. Bill Murray will voice the friendly bear Baloo, Ben Kingsley the panther Bagheera, Idris Elba the villainous tiger Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson the python Kaa, Christopher Walken the ape King Louis, and Giancarlo Esposito and Lupita Nyong’o as the wolves Akela and Raksha.
Disney’s previous adaptations of animated classics have largely received mixed reviews despite their box office success, with Cinderella being the most well-received, though it drew criticism for following the animated story too closely. We won’t know how The Jungle Book will do until it hits theaters next year, but reactions to footage at this year’s D23 presentation seem to be overwhelmingly positive.
Favreau introduced a few clips that featured Walken, Murray and Elba as their respective characters in addition to photorealistic jungle CGI. Though the CGI, which viewers can get a glimpse of from the trailer preview, was highly praised, it was the voice performances of the actors that seemed to captivate the audience. Unfortunately, fans won’t be able to get a taste of the characters’ performances in the teaser for the trailer, but likely will once the full Jungle Book trailer debuts on Monday.
What do you think of the trailer teaser for The Jungle Book? Are you excited for this Disney animated classic adaptation? Let us know in the comments!
The Jungle Book hits theaters April 15th, 2016.