Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

New Jungle Book Mowgli role cast

Newcomer Neel Sethi will play Mowgli in Jon Favreau's Jungle Book, a new take on the classic Disney tale

A 10-year-old boy has beaten thousands of hopefuls to land the plum role of Mowgli in the new Jungle Book film.

Neel Sethi was found following a search that spanned the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand and India.

The Jungle Book, a new take on the much-loved 1967 classic, will be newcomer Neel's first acting role.

Director John Favreau said in a statement: "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."

Sethi will be the only actor seen in the film, the Los Angeles Times reported, with the other talking animals on-screen using digital animation.

Sir Ben Kingsley is voicing the role of Bagheer, the black panther, while Luther star Idris Elba is the voice of the tiger Shere Khan.

Lupita Nyong'o and Scarlett Johansson are in talks to voice some of the other animals in the film, due out next year.

The new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's novel, also made by Disney, is set to combine live-action and CGI.

It is one of two projects underway, with Andy Serkis set to direct a version of Kipling's Jungle Book being developed by Warner Bros.

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