The deadly tiger Shere Khan from the 1967 animated feature The Jungle Book is widely regarded as one of the most terrifying villains in Walt Disney Pictures’ cinematic history, and that doesn’t show signs of changing in the upcoming live-action feature, courtesy of some impressive computer animation and the voice of Idris Elba.
Disney has released the first, official clip from the April film, and it puts Elba’s Shere Khan front and center as the ferocious beast, and offers a glimpse of what’s to come when the animal protectors of the human boy Mowgli clash with one of the jungle’s greatest predators.
Based on Rudyard Kipling’s famous story of a young boy raised by jungle creatures, The Jungle Book is directed by Iron Man and Chef filmmaker Jon Favreau from a script penned by Justin Marks (Rewind, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li).
The film follows an orphaned boy played by Neel Sethi who’s raised by jungle creatures and must learn what it means to be — and become — a man amid the danger lurking all around him. The all-star voice cast includes Elba as Shere Khan, as well as Scarlett Johansson as the python Kaa, Bill Murray as the friendly bear Baloo, Christopher Walken as the orangutan lord King Louie, Giancarlo Esposito as Mowgli’s adoptive wolf-father Akela, Lupita Nyong’o as Mowgli’s adoptive mother Raksha, Ben Kingsley as the stern panther Bagheera, and many other familiar names (and voices).
While the film is inspired by Kipling’s 1893 collection of stories, The Jungle Book is intended to be a live-action remake of the animated Disney movie that was inspired by Kipling’s novel. The animals and jungle environments are all computer-generated visual effects that required the actors providing the voices to move and mimic the creatures they played on the screen during filming. The film is set in the jungles of India.
The Jungle Book is scheduled to hit theaters April 15, and Disney recently launched a website for the film at TheLawoftheJungle.com.