Ben Kingsley Joins THE JUNGLE BOOK; Rooney Mara to Produce and Star in HOUSE IN THE SKY; Elisabeth Moss and James Purefoy Climb HIGH-RISE

     June 25, 2014

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We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Sir Ben Kingsley will voice the character of Bagheera in director Jon Favreau’s live-action/CG adaptation of The Jungle Book.
  • Rooney Mara has been set to produce and star in an adaptation of the harrowing memoir A House in the Sky for Annapurna Pictures.
  • Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) and James Purefoy (The Following) have joined Tom Hiddleston in director Ben Wheatley’s thriller High-Rise.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

ben-kingsley-the-jungle-bookDisney announced today that Sir Ben Kingsley will be providing the voice of Bagheera in the new 3D Jungle Book adaptation.  The black panther becomes a friend to Mowgli during the human boy’s time in the jungle, and Kingsley seems an appropriate choice to voice the character.  Jon Favreau is directing the pic, which will blend live-action and CG elements to bring Rudyard Kipling’s classic story to life.  The live-action actors have yet to be announced, but thus far we have Idris Elba voicing Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson voicing Kaa, and Lupita Nyong’o voicing Rakcha.  The film is slated for release on October 29, 2015.

Additionally, Annapurna Pictures has announced that it is teaming up with Rooney Mara to produce an adaptation of the Amanda Lindhout memoir A House in the Sky.  The pic will be developed as a starring vehicle for Mara, who will produce and star as Lindhout, who was abducted in Mogadishu, Somalia in 2008 by a rebel terrorist group.  For 15 months, Lindhout was kept in chains, starved, and subjected to terrible abuse while held captive.  A writer has not yet been set, but Mara seems a fine choice to lead the adaptation.

Finally, Elisabeth Moss and James Purefoy have been added to the cast of director Ben Wheatley’s (A Field in England) dystopian thriller High-Rise, per ScreenDaily.  Tom Hiddleston leads a cast that also includes Luke Evans, Sienna Miller, and Jeremy Irons.  The story revolves around a new residential tower designed as a luxurious solution to the problems of England that soon becomes home to violent tribal factions.  Filming begins in July in Belfast.

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