Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, and More Join Andy Serkis’ JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Director Jon Favreau is already in production on his nearly entirely CG-animated The Jungle Book for Disney, but Warner Bros. has now filled out the cast for its own adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling story.  Andy Serkis directs the terribly titled Jungle Book: Origins, and fresh off the news that Benedict Cumberbatch will be voicing Shere Khan, THR reports that Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan, and Peter Mullan have joined the cast.  Moreover, Bad Words star Rohan Chand has been selected to fill the live-action role of Mowgli.  The film will be a mix of motion-capture, CG animation, and live-action with Serkis also set to star as Baloo.

Hit the jump to find out who the aforementioned actors will be playing in Jungle Book: Origins.

Benedict Cumberbatch to Voice Shere Khan in Andy Serkis’ JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS

by     Posted 42 days ago

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Jon Favreau’s version of The Jungle Book for Disney already has Neel Sethi, Lupita Nyong’oIdris ElbaScarlett Johansson, Sir Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito on board and is barreling towards an October 9, 2015 debut, but now Andy Serkis’ rendition for Warner Bros., which is now titled Jungle Book: Origins, is making some moves, too.

Serkis’ Jungle Book just locked its very first star, Benedict Cumberbatch.  He’ll voice the film’s villain, Shere Khan, a tiger who’d rather not have any humans in his territory at all.  Hit the jump for more on Cumberbatch’s casting.  Jungle Book: Origins is set for an October 21, 2016 debut.

Sir Ben Kingsley Talks THE BOXTROLLS, His Career, Voicing Bagheera in THE JUNGLE BOOK, The Mandarin, EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, and More at Comic-Con

by     Posted 56 days ago

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Produced by Laika and based on the children’s novel Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow, the stop-motion animated feature The Boxtrolls is about a young orphaned boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright), who is raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors who he must save from evil exterminator Archibald Snatched (voiced by Ben Kingsley).

While at Comic-Con for a presentation in Hall H, actor Ben Kingsley spoke at a roundtable interview about why he was so taken with this film, how freeing he found the voice recording experience, voicing the leopard Bagheera for Jon Favreau’s live-action feature The Jungle Book, starting his career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, how much he enjoyed playing The Mandarin in Iron Man 3, how Sexy Beast changed people’s perception of him, what he learned from the experience of making Gandhi, being a part of Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, where his desire to keep working comes from, and how he’s always wanted to play a man in uniform.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK Adds Bill Murray; Warner Bros Version Gets a Release Date and New Title

by     Posted 60 days ago

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The October 9, 2015 release of Disney’s The Jungle Book isn’t all that far away, so the studio’s been casting up like crazy lately.  In the past month alone, the production has added Ben Kinglsey, Neel Sethi, Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito to the line-up, and now they’ve got yet another new addition to share – Bill Murray as Baloo.  Sethi’s Mowgli will be the only actor seen on screen in the film, but he’ll be joined by a slew of CG characters including Walken as King Louie, Esposito as Akela, Kingsley as Bagheera, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Idris Elba as Shere Khan and Scarlett Johansson as Kaa in addition to Murray.

We’ve also got some movement on Warner Bros. Pictures’ rendition of The Jungle Book, which is now titled Jungle Book: Origins.  The Andy Serkis-directed rendition is scheduled to make its way into theaters on October 21, 2016, almost exactly a year after the Disney film.  Hit the jump for more.

THE JUNGLE BOOK Adds Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito; Eva Green in Talks for Tim Burton’s MISS PEREGRINE

by     Posted 64 days ago

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Disney continues to expand the cast of it’s The Jungle Book adaptation, even if only one actor will ever be seen on screen.  Director Jon Favreau’s iteration recently cast young newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli, and he will be the only live-action actor to appear in the film.  The rest of the cast is filled out with CG-animated creatures, and today Disney announced that Christopher Walken and Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito have joined the voice cast.  Walken will fill the role of King Louie, the ruler of a troop of monkeys and apes, while Esposito will voice Akela, the leader of the wolf pack.  Other voice actors in the film include Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, and Sir Ben KingsleyThe Jungle Book is scheduled for release on October 9, 2015.

Hit the jump for news concerning a Dark Shadows actress leading the next film from director Tim Burton.

Jon Favreau’s THE JUNGLE BOOK Casts Newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli; Will Be the Only Actor Onscreen

by     Posted 77 days ago

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After a worldwide casting search that included thousands of auditions, Disney and director Jon Favreau have cast 10-year-old Neel Sethi as Mowgli in the upcoming The Jungle Book adaptation.  The project has previously been described as a mix between live-action and animation, but today’s casting announcement for Sethi reveals that he will be the only actor seen onscreen in the film; this newcomer will be carrying the entire movie on his shoulders.  Though Sethi has no professional experience, Favreau and his team feel confident that has the charisma and instincts to bring this new iteration of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story to life.

Sethi will be working with a number of CG characters, as Idris Elba is onboard to voice Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson will voice Kaa, Lupita Nyong’o is voicing Rakcha, and Sir Ben Kingsley will voice the character of Bagheera.  The Jungle Book is currently in production and is scheduled for release in 3D on October 9, 2015.

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

by     Posted 97 days ago

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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.

Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong’o in Talks to Join Jon Favreau’s THE JUNGLE BOOK

by     Posted 160 days ago

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Director Jon Favreau continues to firm up the cast for his live-action/CG hybrid take on The Jungle Book.  We learned last month that Idris Elba will provide the voice of Shere Khan in the Disney adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic, and now Heat Vision reports that Scarlett Johansson and Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave actress Lupita Nyong’o are in negotiations to join the pic as well.  Hit the jump for more on the nature of their roles.

Andy Serkis Talks Directing THE JUNGLE BOOK and DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES; Reveals First 20 Minutes Is Just the Apes

by     Posted 186 days ago

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A little while before picking up his CinemaCon Vanguard Award, I landed an exclusive video interview with Andy Serkis.  During the interview, Serkis talked about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and directing The Jungle Book for Warner Bros.  For fans of the Apes franchise, Serkis says the sequel is completely different than the first movie and reveals that the first 20 minutes of the movie focuses on just the apes.  In addition, he’s seen a rough cut and think it’s a very powerful film about identity and tribalism, and 90% of the film is shot on location because of advancement in motion-capture technology.   He also revealed that seeds are planted for a third movie, which already has Matt Reeves set to return as director.

Regarding his directorial debut, The Jungle Book, Serkis praised the dark script and how developing Animal Farm gave him the tools to create the motion-capture animals in The Jungle Book.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Andy Serkis to Direct THE JUNGLE BOOK for Warner Bros.

by     Posted 194 days ago

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Warner Bros. and Disney are developing competing live-action adaptations of The Jungle Book.  When director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel) departed the WB project and Idris Elba signed on to voice Shere Khan in the Jon Faverau edition, Disney took the early lead.  But Warner Bros. is not ready to throw in the towel just yet.  After sending out feelers to Ron Howard, WB found their director in Andy Serkis.  Serkis is best known as the godfather of motion-capture acting, the man behind Gollum of Lord of the Rings and Caesar of Rise of the Planet of the ApesThe Jungle Book will be Serkis’ feature directorial debut (depending on the status of his Animal Farm adaptation), but he served as the second unit director for The Hobbit movies—no walk in the park.

In Rudyard Kipling’s short stories, the orphaned boy Mowgli is raised by wolves, befriends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther, and fights the tiger Shere Khan, so there are plenty of CG/mo-cap characters for Serkis to curate.  More after the jump.

Over 40 Pictures from Mondo’s Disney Gallery Show “Nothing’s Impossible” Featuring Work by Martin Ansin, Tom Whalen, and Aaron Horkey

by     Posted 207 days ago

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Mondo’s Disney gallery show Nothing’s Impossible was another hit.  People camped out for days in the freezing weather, and the line reached over 300 people by the time the gallery opened.  Artists such as Martin Ansin, Tom Whalen, Aaron Horkey, and Jason Edmiston had killer pieces for this show which tackled hit Disney properties such as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.  Check out over 40 photos after the jump.

Idris Elba to Voice Shere Khan in Jon Favreau’s THE JUNGLE BOOK

by     Posted 208 days ago

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The race of the two Jungle Book films continues.  Disney’s iteration has a leg up on Warner Bros.’ adaptation since it has both a director and a release date, and now it has a star.  Deadline reports that Idris Elba will provide the voice of the villainous tiger Shere Khan in director Jon Favreau’s adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling book.  Favreau’s film will be a mixture of live-action and CGI, and so it appears that Shere Khan will be brought to life via the latter.  Elba is currently gearing up to go shoot True Detective director Cary Fukunaga’s next film, the child soldier drama Beasts of No Nation, but he feels like an excellent fit for the character of Khan.

Disney’s film is slated for release on October 9, 2015, so production will likely get underway this summer.  Meanwhile, Warner Bros. is on the hunt for a director for its live-action The Jungle Book film after Alejandro González Iñárritu dropped outRon Howard was recently mentioned in connection with the project, but further confirmation has yet to materialize.

THE JUNGLE BOOK Diamond Edition Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 212 days ago

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I did not grow up watching Disney animated movies like most kids (ironically, I am now conversant in them almost to the level of a true Disnoid).  Indeed, I only remember having seen three in my young years: Lady and the Tramp, The Black Calderon and The Jungle Book.  My memories of The Jungle Book being particularly thin, it was with great and somewhat nostalgic anticipation that I approached Disney’s new Blu-ray release of the film.  Hit the jump for my The Jungle Book Blu-ray review.

Ron Howard in Talks to Direct THE JUNGLE BOOK for Warner Bros.

by     Posted 228 days ago

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It appears that filmmaker Ron Howard may soon be heading back into family friendly territory.  A month after director Alejandro González Iñárritu fell off the project, Heat Vision reports that Howard is currently in talks to take the helm of Warner Bros.’ live-action The Jungle Book adaptation.  The studio is in a bit of a race to get the project off the ground, as Jon Favreau is helming another live-action adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling book for Disney with an October 2015 release date already set.  Warner Bros.’ picture is being produced by Steve Kloves, who wrote all but one of the Harry Potter films for the studio, and his daughter Callie Kloves wrote the screenplay for this new Jungle Book film.  Should Howard sign on, he would also produce this new adaptation.  Hit the jump for more on the project and Howard’s very busy slate.

New to Blu-ray: THE JUNGLE BOOK, SHERLOCK Season 3, ENDER’S GAME, and More

by     Posted 231 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include a Diamond Edition of Walt Disney’s last film, the latest season of one of the most engrossing shows currently on television, a Best Picture winner, a current Oscar nominee, and more.  Briefly:

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