Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett Star in ‘Jungle Book: Origins’

Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett Join Jungle Book: Origins
Benedict Cumberbatch (Photo by Richard Chavez/ShowbizJunkies)

Impressive. That’s the word that immediately springs to mind when reading the casting announcement for Warner Bros Pictures’ Jungle Book: Origins. And, no, we’re not talking about the Jungle Book film with Jon Favreau at the helm and Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Giancarlo Esposito, Idris Elba, and Scarlett Johansson voicing characters. This Jungle Book, which marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis, is a 3D production that’s just added Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, and Cate Blanchett to its cast list.

The award-winning actors will co-star in the film along with Rohan Chand, Peter Mullan, Tom Hollander, Naomi Harris, Eddie Marsan, and Serkis. Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves and Jonathan Cavendish are on board as producers, with Kloves’ daughter, Callie, penning the screenplay based on Rudyard Kipling’s stories.


Per Warner Bros’ announcement, the action film will be a mix of live action and motion capture, which makes sense with performance capture expert Serkis at the helm.

Here’s the roster of who the actors will be playing:

– Benedict Cumberbatch is the fearsome tiger, Shere Khan
– Cate Blanchett is the sinister snake, Kaa
– Christian Bale is the cunning panther, Bagheera
– Andy Serkis is the wise bear, Baloo
– Peter Mullan is the leader of the wolf pack, Akela
– Tom Hollander is the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui
– Naomi Harris is Nisha, the female wolf who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs
– Eddie Marsan is Nisha’s mate, Vihaan
– Jack Reynor is Mowgli’s Brother Wolf
– Rohan Chand is playing the boy raised by wolves, Mowgli

Warner Bros Pictures has set an October 21, 2016 release date.

The Jungle Book: Origins Plot:

The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli, raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.

-By Rebecca Murray

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