Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ Adds Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito to Cast

Walt Disney Studios has announced that Christopher Walken will assume the role of King Louie in Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’ live-action/animated hybrid, while Giancarlo Esposito will voice Akela, the leader of the wolf pack.

Walken and Esposito join Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Golden Globe winner Idris Elba as Shere Khan, and Scarlett Johansson as Kaa. The Jungle Book also marks the debut of newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli, who will be the only actor to physically appear on screen.

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Disney’s Live Action/Animated ‘The Jungle Book’ Casts Neel Sethi as Mowgli

Neel Sethi. Photo by: Alex Kang. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.After an extensive worldwide search ranging from New York to New Zealand, London to Canada, and all throughout the United States and India, Walt Disney Studios has announced that 10-year-old Neel Sethi will play the part of Mowgli in Disney’s The Jungle Book. Neel is a newcomer from New York picked from among thousands of auditions, and his role in The Jungle Book marks his first foray into acting.

‘Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative,’ said director Jon Favreau. ‘Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it.’

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Sir Ben Kingsley Cast as Bagheera in Disney’s Live Action ‘The Jungle Book’

Walt Disney Studios has announced that Academy Award-winning actor Ben Kingsley has been cast as the voice of Bagheera in Disney’s upcoming The Jungle Book.

Directed by Jon Favreau from a script by Justin Marks, The Jungle Book combines live action and animated filmmaking. The Jungle Book arrives in theaters in 3D on October 9, 2015.

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‘The Jungle Book’ Concept Art in High Resolution, Bonus Features Sneak Peek

'The jungle Book' Concept Art © Disney

In honor of next week’s release of The Jungle Book Diamond Edition, which marks the first time the immortal Disney classic will be available on Blu-ray, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has provided us with sketches and concept art created for the film. Admittedly much of these has been previously released before, but rarely at such a high resolution. So high in fact, that we had to shrink down several of the images in size just to make them fit. In addition to the concept art, they have also provided us with sneak peeks from the all new bonus feature, ‘Music, Memories & Mowgli: A Conversation with Richard M. Sherman, Diane Disney Miller and Floyd Norman.’

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‘Jungle Book’ Merchandise Now Available from JC Penney

'The Jungle Book' PlushIn anticipation of The Jungle Book Diamond Edition Blu-ray, available February 11, 2014, JC Penney has now added several items to its new Disney boutique. The bulk of the current collection consists of plush, not unlike those previously released in Europe by Disney Store and those expected to be available at Disney Store at the beginning of the new year. However, while Disney Store UK also lists a Junior and Shere Khan plush (these are likely to be available domestically as well), it does not list a Mowgli plush which JC Penney currently offers. Also available at launch are a Bagheera plush, a Baloo plus and a King Louie plush as well as a boys’ Jungle Book t-shirt.

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‘The Jungle Book 2′ Swings onto Disney Blu-ray on March 18, 2014

'Jungle Book 2' on Blu-rayAhead of any official announcement, both Walmart and Amazonhave begun listing the direct-to-video sequel, The Jungle Book 2, will be making its Blu-ray debut on March 18, 2014, about a month after The Jungle Book Diamond Edition is released.

Below is the description of the release as per Walmart:

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‘Jungle Book’ Diamond Edition Swings onto Shelves with Alternate Ending, February 11

Disney's 'The Jungle Book' on Blu-rayFor the first time ever on Blu-ray with glorious digital high definition, Disney’s The Jungle Book has never looked so lush or sounded so good! Beloved characters, swinging music and new behind-the-scenes bonus features make this Diamond Edition Blu-ray a must-have for every family’s classic collection. Now available for pre-order from Amazon.com.

Meet the most unforgettable characters and embark on a thrilling adventure with Mowgli as he journeys deep into the jungle and learns ‘The Bare Necessities’ of life from happy-go-lucky Baloo the bear. Meet Bagheera, the wise old panther, and crazy King Louie, the orangutan. But watch out for the cunning tiger Shere Khan and Kaa, the ssssneakiest snake in the jungle!

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