Disney's "The Jungle Book" is moving forward significantly after finding its Mowgli. A 10-year-old boy with very little acting credit named Neel Sethi has been chosen to be the only on-screen actor in the live-action/CG adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling story.
After an extensive search in United States, Canada, England, New Zealand and India, the filmmakers landed their choice on New Yorker Sethi. "Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative," director Jon Favreau said in a statement. "Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I'm confident he can handle it."
Casting director Sarah Finn described Sethi as embodying "the heart, humor, and daring of the character. He's warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation. Even though he has no professional acting experience, his natural charisma and instincts jumped out at us."
"Jungle Book" tells the story of a boy raised in the jungle by wild animals. Sethi will be the only actor seen in the film since the other characters are created as computer-generated creatures. Ben Kingsley and Idris Elba will voice the black panther Bagheera and tiger Shere Khan respectively. Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong'o are also in talks to join the movie.
Written by Justin Marks, Disney's "Jungle Book" is scheduled for U.S. release October 9, 2015.