Mar 18, 2016 05:49 AM EDT By Maria Cabrera

'The Jungle Book' Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Bill Murray & More

The film stars and introduces Neel Sethi as Mowgli and features the voices of Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong'o, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken and more.

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  • 'The Jungle Book' is an upcoming fantasy adventure film directed by Jon Favreau, written by Justin Marks, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on Rudyard Kipling's collective works of the same name, the film is a live-action/CGI reimagining of Walt Disney's 1967 animated film.

    The film is scheduled to be released in the Disney Digital 3D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D formats on April 15, 2016.

    Plot: Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is a human boy raised by the Indian wolves Raksha (Lupita Nyong'o) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) ever since his baby form was brought to them by Bagheera the black panther (Ben Kingsley). When the fearsome Bengal tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens his life since man isn't allowed in the jungle, Mowgli leaves his jungle home. Guided by Bagheera and Baloo the bear (Bill Murray), he sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the man-hunting Shere Khan. Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who do not exactly have his best interests at heart including Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) the python and the smooth-talking Bornean orangutan-resembling Gigantopithecus King Louie (Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly "red flower".
  • Favreau decided to cast Johansson to play Kaa, originally a male character, as he felt the original film was "a little too male-oriented".
  • Bill Murray eventually confirmed as the voice of Baloo in August 2014. "The Bare Necessities", originally written by Terry Gilkyson, will be included and sung by Murray.
  • The cast was announced between March and August 2014, with Idris Elba being announced to voice Shere Khan during early stages.
  • Christopher Walken was confirmed to play King Louie. Favreau also decided to change King Louie from an orangutan to a Gigantopithecus due to the fact that orangutans are not native to India, where the story takes place.
  • Ben Kingsley as Bagheera.
  • Lupita Nyong'o was cast as Raksha as Favreau believed her voice imbued emotion required for the role, "Lupita has tremendous depth of emotion in her performance. There’s an emotional underpinning she brings, and a strength, and we wanted that for this surrogate mother. Much of that comes from her voice."
  • The search for casting Mowgli was extensive, with over thousands of kids auditioning from the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. Eventually newcomer Neel Sethi was confirmed for the role with casting director Sarah Finn describing him 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."
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Akela.
  • Emjay Anthony as Grey Brother.
  • Hannah Tointon as Winifred.
  • Ralph Ineson as Rama.
  • Photo Credit Getty Images
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  • Photo Credit Getty Images
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