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Here's the one actor you'll see on-screen in Jon Favreau's Jungle Book

07.15.2014

Walt Disney Studios has announced that they've found their lead for the Jon Favreau-directed JUNGLE BOOK, and it is 10 year-old Neel Sethi. Sethi of course will take up the role of Mowgli, who is raised in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear and a black panther.

Jon Favreau had this to say:

Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative. Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it.

According to casting director Sara Finn:

Neel embodies the heart, humor, and daring of the character. He’s warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation. Even though he has no professional acting experience, his natural charisma and instincts jumped out at us.

Disney also stated that Neel will be the only actor onscreen, as Favreau's THE JUNGLE BOOK will be a combination of live-action and animation. So far, Sethi will be joined by the voices of Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera and Idris Elba as Shere Khan. I'll forever love Favreau for SWINGERS, but there's no denying that he helped to start something special with the first IRON MAN. With a second Jungle Book film coming our way via Andy Serkis, I'll be curious to see how they measure up to each other.

THE JUNGLE BOOK, starring Neel Sethi and the voices of Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, and Ben Kingsley, will hit theaters on October 9, 2015.

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