Academy Award-winning actor Ben Kingsley has been tapped to voice the cunning black panther, Bagheera, in Disney’s upcoming film The Jungle Book.
Not to be confused with Warner Bros. The Jungle Book adaptation, Disney has signed Ben Kingsley as the voice of Bagheera in their live-action film adaptation.
The film will be directed by Iron Man director Jon Favreau, and the script is being penned by Justin Marks. Of course we know the story of the boy who was raised by animals in the Indian jungle and finds some interesting friends along the way.
The 1967 film has always been a favorite of young children and adults who grew up watching the classic film. This isn’t the only live-action reboot in production.
Warner Bros. is also developing a film with Harry Potter writer Steve Kloves. Kloves is well known in the Potter world, and he will reportedly be writing Warner Bros. take on The Jungle Book remake which will be directed by Andy Serkis.
We’re unsure how these two films will affect one another, but since the material is public domain, it’s possible we may end up with two remakes of the classic film. Disney may ramp up their production so that they can be the first to get a reboot in theaters since we haven’t heard much about the Warner Bros. adaptation.
Fans of the animated film may recall that an attempt was made in 1994 with a live-action remake, but it failed to impress audiences and only made $43 million at the box office. Quite a low figure compared to the 1967 animated feature, which went on to make over $200 million worldwide.
There was also an animated sequel released in 2003 that did fairly well at the box office, pulling in a total of $135 million on a $20 million dollar budget. It certainly seems like audiences enjoy animated adaptations the most, so we look forward to seeing how the live-action/animated remake turns out.
Disney’s The Jungle Book release date is set for October 9, 2015.