*On the heels of her casting in Antoine Fuqua’s “Southpaw,” Naomie Harris has signed on to Warner Bros. adaptation of “The Jungle Book,” joining Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan, Peter Mullan and Benedict Cumberbatch as the animal characters in the feature.
The movie, directed by Andy Serkis, will employ a mix of motion capture, CG animation and live action.
The story centers on Mowgli, an orphaned boy raised by wolves who befriends members of the animal kingdom who help him grow up.
Rohan Chand, the young actor who starred opposite Jason Bateman in “Bad Words,” will star as the human boy Mowgli. Serkis will play Baloo the bear, and Bale will voice Bagheera, a fearsome panther, both of whom save Mowgli from the killer tiger Shere Khan (Cumberbatch) and teach him the law of the jungle. Blanchett will voice Kaa, a sinister python who is also a friend to Mowgli, while Hollander will play Tabaqui, the jackal who is an underling of Shere Khan. 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.
Callie Kloves wrote the script, adapting the Rudyard Kipling short stories, while her father, Steve Kloves, the screenwriter who wrote seven of the Harry Potter films for the studio, is producing with Jonathan Cavendish.