Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Bale, Blanchett join Jungle Book

Christian Bale will voice panther Bagheera in Andy Serkis' The Jungle Book

Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett are to head to the jungle with Andy Serkis.

The Oscar-winning stars have signed on for animal roles in Andy's big-screen adaptation of The Jungle Book, said the Hollywood Reporter.

Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan have also joined the cast of the Warner Bros film. Benedict Cumberbatch and Rohan Chand are already on board as villainous tiger Shere Khan and human boy Mowgli respectively.

Christian will lend his voice to fearsome panther Bagheera, while Cate will voice Kaa, a scary-looking python who becomes friends with Mowgli.

Skyfall actress Naomie will be the female wolf Nisha, with Eddie as her mate, Vihaan. Tom will play Tabaqui, the jackal who is an underling of Shere Khan, and Peter will be Akela, the leader of the wolf pack that raises Mowgli.

Planet Of The Apes star Andy is making his feature directing debut with the motion capture, live action film. He will also play Baloo the bear - Mowgli's friend.

Callie Kloves has adapted this version of The Jungle Book from Rudyard Kipling's short stories, which focuses on the boy orphan who is raised by wolves and becomes friends with members of the animal kingdom.

Warner Bros has announced that shooting will begin next year, ahead of its release in October 2016.

The film is a rare move for Christian, who last voiced a character in the English translation of Howl's Moving Castle in 2004.

The Jungle Book is also being adapted by Disney, with Jon Favreau in the director's chair.

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