Disney has cast actor Neel Sethi as Mowgli in their live-action remake of The Jungle Book.
Portraying Mowgli in The Jungle Book will be Sethi’s first acting role, after Disney did extensive searches for a new young actor for their live-action film.
In a press release director Jon Favreau says, “Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative. Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it.”
Casting director Sarah Finn continued, saying, “Neel embodies the heart, humor, and daring of the character. He’s warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation. Even though he has no professional acting experience, his natural charisma and instincts jumped out at us.”
As Mowgli, Neel will be the only actor that’s actually on screen in the film. The Jungle Book will be a combination of live-action and animated characters which will include Sir Ben Kingsley as Bagheera.
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.
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 intend to 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.
Disney’s The Jungle Book release date is set for October 9, 2015.