In 2015, Walt Disney Studios not only brings a live-action CINDERELLA to the big screen, but also their 1960’s classic THE JUNGLE BOOK. Directed by Jon Favreau and featuring the voices of Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johannsson, and Christopher Walken, the cast and crew reads more like a Marvel production rather than the newest adaptation of the Sherman Brothers’ swinging, jazzy, musical. THE JUNGLE BOOK is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub raised in the jungle by a family of wolves, who embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known. Continue reading for more details about Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK. Update: release date has shifted from October 2015 to April 15, 2016.
Update July 11, 2016
Jon Favreau’s stunning live-action reimagining of Walt Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK, will be available early on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on August 23, and on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand on August 30.
Venture behind the scenes with in-depth bonus features that reveal the innovative filmmaking technology used to create the richly immersive jungle world and characters; Follow the journey of the film’s only on-screen actor, charismatic newcomer Neel Sethi (Mowgli); Delve into a candid and humorous scene-by-scene audio commentary with director Jon Favreau and meet the all-star voice cast who help bring the film’s colorful characters to life, as well as the musicians who accent the adventure with a majestic music score.
The all-star cast includes Bill Murray (“Lost in Translation”) as the voice of Baloo, Sir Ben Kingsley (“Learning to Drive,” “The Walk”) as Bagheera and Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) as the voice of mother wolf Raksha. Scarlett Johansson (“Avengers: Age of Ultron”) gives life to Kaa, Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad”) provides the voice of alpha-male wolf Akela, Idris Elba (“Beast of No Nation”) roars as the voice of Shere Khan, and Christopher Walken (“The Deer Hunter”) lends his iconic voice to King Louie.
*Bonus features include BLU-RAY & DIGITAL HD:
- “The Jungle Book” Reimagined – Favreau sits down with producer Brigham Taylor and visual effects supervisor Robert Legato to discuss “The Jungle Book” and reflect on the years they devoted to the reimagining of this timeless tale. Discover how Rudyard Kipling’s original stories and the classic animated film influenced their unique approach, witness the technical wizardry that enabled the team to create a believable and thrilling movie-going experience, and learn how they borrowed a page from Walt Disney’s innovation playbook to make it all happen. Lastly, meet the all-star voice cast who help bring the film’s colorful characters to life, as well as the musicians who accent the adventure with a majestic music score.
- I Am Mowgli – Follow the extraordinary journey of 12-year-old Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of hopefuls worldwide to play Mowgli “alongside” some of today’s biggest movie stars. Get a glimpse of Neel’s life before Hollywood came calling, check out his audition that sealed the deal, and see how a close-working relationship with Favreau brought out his best. Plus, Neel shares how filming “The Jungle Book” was one wild ride, from working alongside imaginary animals to performing some super-fun stunts.
- King Louie’s Temple: Layer by Layer – So, exactly how do you create a musical number featuring one man-cub, a massive, legendary ape and an army of wild and wily monkeys in the Seeonee jungle? Viewers are granted rare and unique access to the development of the “I Wan’na Be Like You” sequence in which King Louie attempts to coerce Mowgli into giving up Man’s deadly “red flower” (fire). A fast-moving musical progression reel showcases storyboards, animatics, Christopher Walken’s recording session and visual effects layers, which ultimately merge to form one of the film’s most memorable scenes.
- Audio Commentary – Favreau delivers his scene-by-scene perspective on the live-action adventure “The Jungle Book” with all the candor and humor you’d expect from this multi-talented actor-writer-director-producer.
- King Louie’s Temple: Layer by Layer
*Bonus features may vary by retailer. Note: The 3D version of THE JUNGLE BOOK will be available later this year.
Update April 15, 2016
Click here for our spoiler-free movie review for Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK – pays homage to and tops the original!
Update April 13, 2016
Recap of Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK press conference with Jon Favreau, Neel Sethi, Sir Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Giancarlo Esposito, and Brigham Taylor. The “Bare Necessities” of music…
Update March 24, 2016
In this first clip released from Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK, Shere Khan makes it clear that “man is forbidden!”
Meet the cast of Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK in these stunning portraits featuring Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o, Sir Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito with their onscreen character.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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, who lends his voice to Bagheera. “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.”
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, who voices the character. “But he’s as charming as he is intimidating when he wants to be.”
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, who voices the character. “He believes the strength of the pack lies in what each and every wolf offers. He’s a great leader, a wise teacher.”
For more information on Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK, check out the brand new Tumblr site. Created exclusively by Disney on Tumblr, you can explore chapters like “Words to Live By: The bare necessities for a man cub to survive” and “In the Face of Danger: Learn about the Red Flower and Shere Khan.” New chapters will be revealed over the next two weeks featuring exclusive content from the film.
Update February 27, 2016
Click on the links below for printable activity sheets from Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK including spot the difference, maze, and hexaflexagon. Be patient, the files are large and may take a second to open in a new tab.
Update February 8, 2016
Second trailer released for Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK on Super Bowl Sunday.
Update January 9, 2016
New image and three-panel triptych poster released for THE JUNGLE BOOK, click on the poster for the larger full-size image.
Update September 15, 2015
First trailer released for Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK – strikes a much different tone than the animated version.
Update August 18, 2015
At Disney’s D23 Expo, after an introduction by Sean Bailey (President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production), Jon Favreau, director of Disney’s upcoming THE JUNGLE BOOK, welcomed to the stage newcomer Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of candidates to play man-cub Mowgli; plus Oscar winners Ben Kingsley, who helps bring panther-turned-mentor Bagheera to life, and Lupita Nyong’o, who lends her voice to the protective mother wolf Raksha.
Favreau treated fans to a sneak peek of footage from the film, and each guest received a copy of the dramatic teaser poster following the presentation. The all-new, live-action epic adventure showcases Mowgli’s journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known.
Based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s 1967 animated classic, the film features state-of the-art technology that immerses audiences in the lush world like never before. THE JUNGLE BOOK also features the voices of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken. Jon Favreau and Brigham Taylor produce and the screenplay is by Justin Marks. THE JUNGLE BOOK hits theaters in stunning 3D and IMAX 3D on April 15, 2016.
Original post follows below
From Walt Disney Studios Press Release
Directed by Jon Favreau (“Chef,” “Iron Man,” “Elf”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, THE JUNGLE BOOK is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of 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 (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johannsson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.
The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. THE JUNGLE BOOK seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world. The wild adventure swings into theaters in 3D on
October 9, 2015 April 15, 2016.