The first look of Jon Favreau's live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book was revealed at this year's D23 Expo. Both Disney and the filmmaker have adopted a radio silence on the project after the announcement of the cast and the tease at the expo was so much more special for that.
The studio has quite a task at hand -- it has already turned Rudyard Kipling's classic into a film once with heartening results and the 1967 animated hit is a tough act to follow. To make the film a reality, the studio began by getting Favreau on board. Disney's president of production Sean Bailey said at the event, "He was the filmmaker who could get the nuance of the source material and the story's legacy in Disney history."
Iron Man director got the perfect ensemble cast in place -- Scarlett Johansson as the python Kaa, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Bill Murray as Baloo and Ben Kingsley as Bagheera. Neel Sethi, a 10-year-old from New York, is playing Mowgli. He is the only human in the film; all other characters are animations.
Neel Sethi plays Mowgli in this live action film.
That was the reason why Sethi met many of his co-stars for the first time at the expo. The film has cutting-edge CGI and Favreau explained, "Taking the edge of technology and applying it to the old stories is part of Disney's legacy. The best CGI for me is the kind that is so good it disappears."
The director also shared some footage from the film which he is still shooting. Johansson as Kaa narrated: "Far from the dark of the jungle, men stay in their village. But sometimes they travel, and their caves breathe in the dark. It brings warmth and light and protection." Onscreen, we see Bagheera finding a little boy.
Years later, Mowgli is face-to-face with his arch nemesis, Shere Khan, who says, "The jungle is no longer safe, I'll return you to where you belong." The tiger chases the boy, who eventually jumps off of a small cliff.
Another clip shows Mowgli telling Baloo that he doesn't know what a song is. But the best is saved for the last when Christopher Walken's orangutan comes on-screen, "I'm the king. Call me Louie."
And for all of us who couldn't watch the footage, go check the amazing poster above.
Read: Indian American Neel Sethi to play Mowgli