Idris Elba is set to voice Shere Khan, the villainous tiger, in Disney’s upcoming live-action version of The Jungle Book. Deadline is reporting that Elba is in final negotiations to lend his voice to the re-imagining being helmed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens).
Originally, in Rudyard Kipling’s “Mowgli’s Brothers”, Shere Khan’s failed attempt to hunt humans causes a young boy to stray from his parents. Shere Khan catches up with the boy, but he has already been adopted by wolves, who name him Mowgli. Furious, Khan swears that he will eventually kill the boy.
Disney has lined up one hell of a team to bring this new version to the big screen. This will be a mix of live-action and VFX, which will be overseen by Academy Award-winner Rob Legato, whose VFX credits include Avatar, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Hugo and Titanic. Production designers Alex McDowell (Man Of Steel, Rise Of The Guardians) and Chris Glass are leading a team of concept artists that includes Michael Kutsche (Alice in Wonderland, Oz, Maleficent), Iain McCaig (Star Wars), and Justin Sweet (Chronicles Of Narnia).
Rudyard Kipling’s source material is in the public domain, so Disney is racing to beat Warner Bros. in getting a new film to cinemas. It looks like Disney may be winning the race, with WB losing director Alejandro González Iñárritu earlier this year.
Idris Elba, who was recently seen in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Thor: The Dark World, will next be seen in Pierre Morel’s actioner The Gunman, starring Sean Penn and Javier Bardem, and Debbie Tucker Green’s drama Second Coming.
Disney’s new version of The Jungle Book is slated for release on October 9, 2015