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Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett join Jungle Book: Origins

Christian Bale in The Fighter

Story by Jack Foley

CHRISTIAN Bale and Cate Blanchett have joined the cast of Andy Serkis’s directorial debut, The Jungle Book.

Just 24 hours after it was announced that Benedict Cumberbatch was to voice the tiger Shere Khan, a whole new list of cast members has been announced, headed by Bale and Blanchett.

Bale will voice Bagheera, a fearsome panther, while Blanchett will voice Kaa, a sinister python who is also a friend to Mowgli.

The film, which promises a darker take that stays more faithful to the classic Rudyard Kipling book, follows Mowgli, an orphaned boy raised by wolves who befriends members of the animal kingdom who help him grow up.

Rohan Chand, a young actor who will soon be seen starring alongside Jason Bateman in Bad Words, will star as the human boy Mowgli.

Other new members include Serkis himself, who will play Baloo the bear, and who together with Bagheera saves Mowgli from the killer tiger Shere Khan.

Tom Hollander will play Tabaqui, the jackal who is an underling of Shere Khan, Peter Mullan will be Akela, the leader of the wolf pack that raises Mowgli, Naomie Harris is the female wolf Nisha, and Eddie Marsan is her mate, Vihaan.

Callie Kloves has penned the script, having adapted the Rudyard Kipling short stories.

Jungle Book is the second live-action/CG hybrid currently in the works, following in the path of the Disney backed, Jon Favreau directed version.

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