Director Jon Favreau’s next work is being billed as a live-action/musical/adventure/fantasy.
That’s a lot of categorical labeling, but it might all fit.
Favreau is directing a star-studded version of Rudyard Kipling’s classic The Jungle Book, which will be released in April, 2016.
The story of Mogli, the boy raised by a family of wolves in India, includes his friendships with Baloo the Bear (voiced by Bill Murray), and Bagheera the Panther (voiced by Ben Kinsley).
Their mortal enemy, the Bengal Tiger Shere Khan, is voiced by Idris Elba, while Neel Sethi, a newcomer, is cast as Mogli. The film also features Scarlett Johansson as Kaa and Christopher Walken as King Louie the Ape.
Of course, Jungle Book has been done several times on film. The widely adored Disney animation featuring Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, George Sanders and Louis Prima was released in 1967. Some of that film’s humorous songs are among the most memorable in Disney’s long catalog of music written for the big screen. “I Wanna Be Like You,” “Colonel Hathi’s March “That’s What Friends Are For,” were written by brothers Robert and Richard Sherman, who wrote songs for many other Disney films, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins and The Sword In The Stone.
Robert Sherman died in March 2012 at age 86. It was reported last year that Richard would be contributing songs to the new production, while some of the older songs will be recycled for the new film.
“The Bare Necessities,” which was penned by Terry Gilkyson, will be sung by Bill Murray, according to CinemaBlend.