Ben Kingsley to voice The Jungle Book's Bagheera

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 26 June 2014
Sir Ben Kingsley

Sir Ben Kingsley

Sir Ben Kingsley has signed on to play loyal panther Bagheera in Jon Favreau's new version of 'The Jungle Book'

Sir Ben Kingsley will voice Bagheera in 'The Jungle Book'.

The actor is set to join the cast of Disney's new live-action version of their classic 1967 animation, playing the wise black panther who watches over orphan boy Mowgli.

Based on Rudyard Kipling's book, Jon Favreau's fresh take on the story follows Mowgli's adventures in the jungle with his sidekicks Bagheera and Baloo the bear.

Idris Elba is already on board to voice villainous tiger Shere Khan, while Scarlett Johansson will lend her raspy tones to Kaa, Mowgli's charming python ally.

'12 Years a Slave' breakout star Lupita Nyong'o has also been cast as Rakcha, the wolf who raises the boy as her own.

The ambitious new film will blend CGI and live actors in a 3D format from a script penned by Justin Marks, whose previous credits include 'Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li'.

'Iron Man' helmer Favreau has dabbled in family films before with the Will Ferrell-starring Christmas classic, 'Elf', and his latest cooking drama 'Chef' is out now.

'The Jungle Book' is set for release on October 9, 2015.

The Jungle Book

  • 4 stars
  • 2016
  • US
  • 1h 46min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Jon Favreau
  • Written by: Justin Marks (screenplay), Rudyard Kipling
  • Cast: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken
  • UK release: 15 April 2016

You know the story: boy (Sethi) left in woods, adopted by wolves (Nyong'o and Esposito), mentored by panther (Kingsley), befriended by bear (Murray), hunted by tiger (Elba, terrifying). Favreau and his team successfully retool the story with stunning CGI, and a script with heart, soul and spirit. A feelgood delight.

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