First ‘Jungle Book’ trailer brings talking (and whistling) animals to life

15 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

New ‘Jungle Book’ trailer is wild.

The teaser shows Scarlett Johansson’s Kaa slithering toward the young Mowgli (played by newcomer Neel Sethi) in a jungle filled with predators, including Shere Khan, the tiger voiced by Idris Elba.The Jungle Book features Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi, chosen from an international search), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves — including Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, But Mowgli finds himself on the wrong-end of fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man and promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat.

The first trailer for Disney’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book, the classic 1967 animation, itself based on the stories of Rudyard Kipling, has been released. And with Jungle Book, anyone who tackles it is not only trying to give a fresh take on the 1967 Disney animated feature, they’re also charged with doing justice to the Rudyard Kipling book as well. So Mowgli embarks on a journey from the jungle guided by panther mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). There are currently two Jungle Book adaptations in the works, and the trailer for Disney’s partially-live-action version just dropped and it looks gorgeous. (The other one is a performance-capture adaptation being made for Warner Bros. by Andy Serkis.) This Jungle Book, which hits theaters next April, is being directed by Jon Favreau and stars newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli (keep your eye on this kid).

Along the way, Mowgli encounters other captivating creatures including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python with seductive voice and gaze, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken). Unlike the trailer that was shown at Disney’s D23 convention, this teaser does not feature Bill Murray (Baloo) singing The Bare Necessities: instead we hear him briefly whistling the song’s refrain.

The all-star cast also includes Bill Murray, who voices the bear Baloo, Ben Kingsley voices panther Bagheera, Lupita Nyong’o voices wolf Raksha and Christopher Walken voices King Louie in the adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic books. Sadly, you won’t hear any of them in this trailer (though many of them did pop up in the footage Disney showed at the D23 Expo and they’re as awesome as you imagine), but who we do get a lot of here is Scarlett Johansson, who is killing it as Kaa.

He spent most of the shoot acting by himself. “I would have eye-lines, and I would listen to their playback to hear [the other actors’] lines, and I would just focus on my eye-line and picture a wolf, or a panther, or a bear,” he told the website Zap2It. This remake will be followed in 2017 by Jungle Book: Origins, the directorial debut of Andy Serkis, the British actor best known for playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, and a veteran of motion-capture acting. It’s about “finding the balance between the iconic, mythic power of the Kipling and all of the images I loved growing up with from the animated feature, it was how do you combine those things?” he said. “And, most importantly, how do you use today’s technology to take it to a different place than the film that already exists? It will feature a heavyweight cast including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Benedict Cumberbatch, with the role of Mowgli taken by Rohan Chand, who made his screen debut at the age of six in Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill.

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