The cast of The Jungle Book pose with their animated counterparts
Jon Favreau's THE JUNGLE BOOK offers an all-new, live-action/CGI adventure about Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), a python who’s seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.
Walt Disney Pictures has just released some photos of the actors posing with their animated counterparts, of which you can see below. You can also read up on a few details about each character, as well as a quote from the actor playing them.
Akela is the strong and hardened alpha-male wolf who shoulders the responsibility of his pack. He welcomes Mowgli to the family, but worries he may one day compromise their safety. "Akela is a fierce patriarch of the wolf pack," says Giancarlo Esposito. "He believes the strength of the pack lies in what each and every wolf offers. He's a great leader, a wise teacher."
Bagheera is a sleek panther who feels it's his duty to help the man-cub depart with dignity when it's time for him to leave his jungle home. "Bagheera is Mowgli’s adoptive parent," says Ben Kingsley. "His role in Mowgli’s life is to educate, to protect and to guide. My Bagheera was military — he’s probably a colonel. He is instantly recognizable by the way he talks, how he acts and what his ethical code is."
Kaa is a massive python who uses her voice and hypnotic gaze to entrance Mowgli. The man-cub can't resist her captivating embrace. "Kaa seduces and entraps Mowgli with her storytelling," says Scarlett Johansson. "She's the mirror into Mowgli's past. The way she moves is very alluring, almost coquettish."
King Louie is a formidable ape who desperately wants the secret of Man's deadly "red flower" - fire. He's convinced Mowgli has the information he seeks. "King Louie is huge - 12 feet tall," says Christopher Walken. "But he's as charming as he is intimidating when he wants to be."
Lupita Nyong'o voices Raksha, a mother wolf who cares deeply for all of her pups—including man-cub Mowgli, whom she adopts as one of her own when he's abandoned in the jungle as an infant. "She is the protector, the eternal mother," says Nyong'o. "The word Raksha actually means protection in Hindi. I felt really connected to that, wanting to protect a son that isn’t originally hers but one she’s taken for her own."
Voiced by Idris Elba, Shere Khan bears the scars of man, which fuel his hatred of humans. Convinced that Mowgli poses a threat, the Bengal tiger is determined to rid the jungle of the man-cub. "Shere Khan reigns with fear," says Elba. "He terrorizes everyone he encounters because he comes from a place of fear."
THE JUNGLE BOOK opens on April 15, 2016.
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