With Cumberbatch joining yesterday, and Bale + Banchett today, Serkis' Jungle Book is really building up some momentum
While two high budget Jungle Book adaptations coming out within a year of each other from rival studios seems like a confusing prospect, it certainly makes for some interesting toing-and-froing, especially in the casting stage.
Christian Bale has joined Warner Bros' 'Jungle Book' movie [Getty/Tim P. Whitby]
Yesterday we reported that Benedict Cumberbatch had bagged the voice role of Shere Khan, building on his impressive vocal work to bring the legendary antagonist to life. Now, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett have been added to the cast, making Andy Serkis’ Warner Bros. version an even more exciting prospect.
Bale, making his first voice appearance since a role in Howl’s Moving Castle back in 2004, will take on Bagheera, while Blanchett will star as the wicked python Kaa. It was only recently we were bemoaning the lack of information surrounding this Warner Bros version, which is set to arrive in October 2016.
A year earlier, Disney’s attempt will land. Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong'o and Avengers star Scarlett Johansson are all set to star while Jon Favreau is directing. It’s certainly an exciting time for Jungle Book fans, and with the recent announcements surrounding Serkis’ version, it looks as though two worthy reimagining of Rudyard Kipling’s iconic text will find their way to the silver screen.
On Disney’s adaption, and specifically the modernization of the story, Jeffrey M. McCall, Professor of Communication at DePauw University, explained to Yahoo Movies: “The King Louie character can have his speaking mannerisms updated in a way that suggests he speaks in a manner similar to the other characters. I don't think the upcoming film needs a total scrubbing, or at some point it would no longer be loyal to the original story. But it can be updated with a keener eye to avoiding stereotypical language or behaviors that could be translatable to ethnic definition."