Jon Favreau hasn’t been in the director’s chair for two years, his last one, Chef, was a little but tasty film that feels personal. His last action film was Cowboys & Aliens which was not his best and was bombed at the box-office even with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford starring in it.
This year, he goes back in directing a large budgeted film, quite ambitious actually but the trailers are impressive that you really wish they’ve done it the right way. The Jungle Book is a classic film, beloved by many because of its story and characters.
Everything is ready to go for the live-action retelling of the classic Disney movie. Weeks before its release, Disney has released images of its stars alongside the animal they voiced in the epic fantasy movie directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man). In case you did not know, only one human actor is in the film, the rest are all CGI characters.
Idris Elba is Shere Khan: The Bengal tiger who bears the scars of man and believes Mowgli to be a threat. Shere Kahn is determined to rid the jungle of the man-cub, and will do so by any means possible. “Shere Khan reigns with fear,”says Elba. “He terrorizes everyone he encounters because he comes from a place of fear.”
Scarlett Johansson is Kaa: The massive python who attempts to hypnotize Mowgli and crush him in her embrace. “Kaa seduces and entraps Mowgli with her storytelling,” says Johansson. “She’s the mirror into Mowgli’s past. The way she moves is very alluring, almost coquettish.”
Lupita Nyong’o is Raksha: The mother wolf who takes Mowgli in when he is abandoned as a baby, and raises him as one of her own. “She is the protector, the eternal mother,” says Nyong’o. “The word Raksha actually means protection in Hindi. I felt really connected to that, wanting to protect a son that isn’t originally hers but one she’s taken for her own.”
Christopher Walken is King Louie: The giant, overbearing ape who desperately wants to know the secret of how man makes fire, in order that he can become more like a human. He is laughable yet also dark and terrifying. “King Louie is huge–12 feet tall,” says Christopher Walken, who voices the character. “But he’s as charming as he is intimidating when he wants to be.”
Sir Ben Kingsley is Bagheera: The black panther who is sensible and reliable, and helps Mowgli on his journey to the man-village. “Bagheera is Mowgli’s adoptive parent,” says Kingsley, who lends his voice to Bagheera. “His role in Mowgli’s life is to educate, to protect and to guide. My Bagheera was military–he’s probably a colonel. He is instantly recognizable by the way he talks, how he acts and what his ethical code is.”
Giancarlo Esposito is Akela: The alpha-male of the wolf pack. He welcomes Mowgi to the family, but fears that he will one day compromise the safety of the pack. “Akela is a fierce patriarch of the wolf pack,” says Giancarlo Esposito. “He believes the strength of the pack lies in what each and every wolf offers. He’s a great leader, a wise teacher.”
“The Jungle Book” opens in Philippine cinemas Thursday April 7, 2016 from Walt Disney Studios.