Mowgli cast for Disney's 'Jungle Book' remake

AFP Relax News
Writer, actor and director Jon Favreau

Ten-year-old New Yorker Neel Sethi is to be the only onscreen actor in Disney's live-action animation in his own screen debut.

Sethi will be joining a roster of Hollywood's most recognizable names for the Walt Disney Studios remake.

Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Ben Kingsley and Scarlett Johannson were already on board for the October 2015 remake, with "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau at the helm.

"Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative," said director Jon Favreau in Disney's prepared statement to the press. "Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I'm confident he can handle it."

Disney's search for a new Mowgli, the one human protagonist in a cast of jungle animals, ranged from New York to New Zealand, London to Canada, and the United States through to India, said the company.

The project isn't the only adaptation in the works, however, as Warner Bros has its own version set for the screen, with "The Hobbit" second unit director and motion capture expert Andy Serkis at the helm, though the WB picture is as yet undated.