Andy Serkis’ JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS Casts Bale, Cumberbatch, Blanchett and More

Serkis-directed take on Kipling’s Jungle casts its leads…

Benedict Cumberbatch (‘Star Trek: Into The Darkness’), Christian Bale (‘Out Of The Furnace’), Cate Blanchett (‘The Monuments Men’), Naomie Harris (‘Skyfall’), Tom Hollander (‘Hanna’), Eddie Marsan (‘Ray Donovan’) and Peter Mullan (‘Hercules’) have all signed on to lend their voices to the animal characters in the live-action hybrid ‘Jungle Book: Origins.’

Adapted from Rudyard Kipling short stories, the film centres on Mowgli, an orphaned boy raised by wolves who befriends members of the animal kingdom who help him grow up.

Not to be confused with the rival film over at Disney, which has Jon Favreau in the director’s chair, ‘Jungle Book: Origins’ is being directed by motion-capture legend Andy Serkis and has young Rohan Chand (‘Bad Words’) playing Mowgli.

Heat Vision has Serkis lending his pipes to Baloo the bear, and Bale voicing Bagheera, a fearsome panther, both of whom save Mowgli from the killer tiger Shere Khan (to be voiced by Cumberbatch) and teach him the law of the jungle. Aussie Blanchett will voice Kaa, a sinister python, while Hollander plays the jackal hyena Tabaqui.

Mullan will be Akela, the leader of the wolf pack that raises Mowgli. Harris is the female wolf Nisha, while Marsan is her mate, Vihaan.