Bill Murray to voice Baloo the bear in Disney’s live action Jungle Book

The actor joins Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito in Jon Favreau’s adaptation of the Disney classic


Bill Murray will join Disney’s live action adaptation of The Jungle Book as lovable bear Baloo. 


He’ll voice the friend and mentor of main character Mowgli, an orphan boy played by young newcomer Neel Sethi.

The award winning actor will line up alongside an already-impressive voice-over cast: Ben Kingsley as panther Bagheera, Lupita Nyong’o as the mother wolf Raksha, Idris Elba as the tiger Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as the snake Kaa, Christopher Walken as ape King Louie and Giancarlo Esposito as wolf pack leader Akela.

Director Jon Favreau took to Instagram to celebrate the news: “Looks like we cast our Baloo. So we have that going for us. Which is nice.”

Looks like we cast our Baloo. So we have that going for us. Which is nice. #junglebook

A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on

The Jungle Book reboot is a mix of live action and animation and is set for release in the UK on 16 October 2015.

Warner Bros is also releasing their own version of the Jungle Book film. The live action 3D film, Jungle Book: Origins, will be directed by Lord of the Rings’ Andy Serkis and is to be released in October 2016, a year after Disney’s remake.

Watch a clip of the original Baloo from 1967, voiced by American singer Phil Harris, singing the Oscar-nominated song “The Bare Necessities” below.