Disney casts Indian American Neel Sethi as Mowgli in ‘The Jungle Book’
The long search for the Mowgli boy gets over as Disney finally found its star for the upcoming action and animated version of the movie ‘The Jungle Book’. The Indian-American, 10-year-old kid, Neel Sethi has never acted before and was selected after thousands of auditions. "After an extensive worldwide search ranging from New York to New Zealand, London to Canada, and all throughout the United States and India, The Walt Disney Studios is pleased to announce that 10-year-old Neel Sethi will play the part of Mowgli in Disney’s The Jungle Book“, revealed Disney in a statement on Tuesday to a famous U.S. magzine.
Director Jon Favreau said “Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative,” he further added, “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 adds, “Neel embodies 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.”
As Mowgli, Neel will be the only actor playing on-screen in the movie while the voice-cast may include Idris Elba as the villain Shere Khan, Ben Kingsley as beloved panther Bagheera whereas Scarlett Johansson may give voice to Kaa and also, Lupita Nyong’ is believed to be in talks for Disney’s take on voice parts.
‘The Jungle Book’ is much-loved classic by Rudyard Kipling. It is about a small boy who gets separated from his parents in the jungle after an attack by a tiger. This results in upbringing of the kid by wolves in the jungle accompanied by huge bunch of animal friends. The movie is scheduled to hit the theatres in 3D on October 9, next year.