The Jungle Book never looked like this before. Disney’s 1967 animated classic has been beloved for decades for its catchy soundtrack and beloved anthropormophic animals (I’m talking to you, Baloo). But it’s 2015, and Jon Favreau’s take on the film feels much less Disney, much more James Cameron — with a healthy dose of Rudyard Kipling mixed in for good measure. And that’s no accident. The Iron Man director relied heavily on the motion-capture techniques perfected by Cameron and company when making Avatar. In fact, the only live-action element of this new version is Mowgli himself, played by newcomer Neel Sethi.
He may be the only human on camera but he is not alone. Sethi is surrounded by a slew of impressive voice talent including Bill Murray, Scarlett Johannson, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, and Christopher Walken. Set to debut in April 2016, Disney’s The Jungle Book looks like it’s made to impress. It also wins the prize for first out of the gate, with Warner Bros. close on its heels. The studio’s Jungle Book: Origins, which has actor/motion capture expert Andy Serkis directing his own version with voice talent from Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch and Christian Bale, is in production now and will debut in 2017.
Time will tell if a second film is even necessary at this point.
Check out The Jungle Book trailer above.