Welcome to the Jungle: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and More Sign On For ‘Jungle Book: Origins’

By August 20, 2014
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Just yesterday, we told you that Benedict Cumberbatch had been added to the cast of Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, Jungle Book: Origins. (Not to be confused with Jon Favreau’s take on the same story for Disney, which will arrive in theaters a year earlier.) Cumberbatch will provide the voice for Shere Khan the tiger, but now he has a whole slew of actors to act with in that project.

THR reports that Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris (Skyfall), Tom Hollander (Muppets Most Wanted), Eddie Marsan (The World’s End) and Peter Mullan (Hercules) have been added to the cast, and Serkis himself will take on a role as well. We weren’t sure yesterday if the movie would include a motion capture element, but this latest report confirms that will be the case, as the film will blend mo-cap with live action and CG animation.

Cate Blanchett

As for the main characters, actor Rohan Chand – who played the child opposite Jason Bateman in Bad Words – will play Mowgli, while Serkis will play Baloo the bear, Bale will voice Bagheera the panther, and Blanchett will voice Kaa the snake. Hollander will play Tabaqui, a jackal loyal to Shere Khan, Mullan will play Akela, the leader of the wolf pack that raises Mowgli, Harris will be the female wolf Nisha, while Marsan is Vihaan, her mate.

That’s an impressive cast, although Favreau’s version still has the edge when it comes to star-studded names. That movie boasts a group of actors that includes Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, and Giancarlo Esposito.

Andy Serkis’ Jungle Book: Origins will arrive in theaters on October 21st, 2016.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.