Disney & Jon Favreau's big screen adaptation of the classic Rudyard Kipling novel, The Jungle Book, will roar into multiplexes nationwide this Spring. The live-action production will bring to life such iconic characters as Baloo the Bear, King Louie, and Mowgli, characters we've all grown up with thanks to the classic 1967 Disney animated film of the same title.
This sweeping epic features some of Hollywood's biggest names in its cast, but chances are you won't be able to recognize them, because you won't see them. That's right! Besides the young actor portraying Mowgli, all the rest of the cast will be unseen, doing voiceover work alone for their CGI characters.
So just who will be voicing your favorite jungle animals? Check them out below!
Bagheera: Ben Kingsley
Boasting an extensive acting career, the Oscar-winning Ben Kingsley has starred in such films as Hugo, Iron Man 3, Ghandi, and Shutter Island. Known for his unique, husky voice and his incredible character acting, Kingsley is a stellar choice to voice Mowgli's panther protector.
King Louie: Christopher Walken
Known mostly for his supporting roles in such films as Catch Me if You Can, The Deer Hunter, and Pulp Fiction, Christopher Walken is an inspired choice to play the King of the Apes.
Kaa: Sssscarlett Johansson
Hollywood's blonde bombshell voicing history's most beloved python? Yes please. Known primarily for her role as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in the Marvel Universe films, Johansson is also no stranger to voice-over work. Back in 2013, she earned critical rave reviews for her vocal performance as Samantha in Spike Jonze's feature film, Her. I'm confident Johansson will do an incredible job portraying the classic slippery snake. Trussssssst in me.
Shere Khan: Idris Elba
Golden Globe winner Idris Elba boasts a strong career with starring roles in many films, including Thor, Beasts of No Nation, and Prometheus. A warm hearted individual in real life, it will be fun to watch Elba channel his inner bad guy as the King of the Jungle.
Raksha: Lupita Nyong'o
Chances are, you saw Lupita Nyong'o on the big-screen recently, you just don't know it. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the beautiful Oscar-winner brought to life the one and only Maz Kanata; one of my personal favorite performances from the film. I can't wait to see what she does with her role as Mowgli's adopted wolf-mother, Raksha.
And finally... The one I'm most excited about!
Baloo: Bill Murray
Voicing one of cinema's most beloved characters is a daunting task. However, if anyone is qualified to step into Baloo's massive paw-prints, it's veteran actor Bill Murray. For decades, Murray has been an industry staple, consistently winning audiences over with his humor and incredible characters.
Your favorite jungle characters are in good hands. So sit back, relax, and forget about your worries and your strife... 'The Jungle Book' swings into theaters April 15th.