The actor will voice the playful yet manipulative king of apes in the new movie.
A few weeks ago, NBC announced that veteran actor Christopher Walken will play Captain Hook in Peter Pan Live, the musical coming to the small screen this December. Now Disney reveals that Walken is set to play another iconic children’s book character, this time in a new film adaptation of The Jungle Book.
After casting the young actor Neel Sethi in the role of Mowgli, Disney is fleshing out the voice cast of The Jungle Book, which will combine live-action and animation. Walken will lend his voice to Louie, king of the apes, while Giancarlo Esposito (Once Upon A Time) will voice Akera, leader of the wolf pack.
Scarlett Johansson (Avengers), Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) and Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3) are also cast in the new movie, which will be helmed by Jon Favreau.
Disney isn’t the only one working on a new adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling book. Warner Bros has announced a rival project to be directed by performance capture specialist Andy Serkis, who is known for playing Gollum in The Lord Of The Rings and Caesar in the latest Planet Of The Apes movies.
Following the success of Alice In Wonderland and Maleficent, Disney is betting big on live action remakes of its animated classics. In addition to The Jungle Book, the studio is preparing live action versions of Cinderella, Beauty And The Beast and Dumbo.
Disney’s new adaptation of The Jungle Book will arrive in US theatres on Oct 9, 2015, while the Warner Bros version is undated for the time being.
In the meantime, American audiences will be able to see Walken singing and dancing in the musical Peter Pan Live, which NBC will broadcast live on Dec 4. — AFP Relaxnews