Christopher Walken joins The Jungle Book

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 29 July 2014
Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito will lend their voices to the CGI representation of animals in the live-action version of 'The Jungle Book.'

Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito have joined 'The Jungle Book.'

The 71-year-old actor and the 'Breaking Bad' star, 56, will lend their voices to the Computer-generated imagery (CGI) representation of animals in the new live-action version of the 1967 Disney classic.

Walken is set to voice King Louie, the ruler of a group of apes and monkeys, while Esposito has been cast as Akela, the leader of a wolf pack, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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, in the reboot.

Meanwhile, newcomer Neel Sethi, 10, will be the only actor to appear on screen throughout the movie, which mixes live-action and animation, after Favreau chose him to take on the role of feral child Mowgli.

'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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