Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Naomie Harris join Benedict Cumberbatch in Jungle Book: Origins

Big names continue to sign up to Andy Serkis's directorial debut adapting Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale


Some of Hollywood’s finest are assembling for Warner Bros’ Jungle Book: Origins, with Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Naomie Harris the latest to be added to the line-up.


Their casting follows this week’s confirmation that Benedict Cumberbatch will also lend his voice and motion capture experience to the film, an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s book directed by Andy Serkis.

Well, as Cumberbatch rather aptly put it, he’s been “rolling around a carpeted floor like a lunatic” doing the movements and voice of Smaug the dragon in the final Hobbit film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. He’s more than ready for the part of tiger Shere Khan.

Bale arrives to voice panther Bagheera, while Blanchett (another Hobbit alum) will lend her vocal talents to the teasing python Kaa. Skyfall’s Naomie Harris joins as the wolf Nisha, while Serkis himself will voice Baloo the bear, The Hollywood Reporter confirms.

The film will see motion capture, CG animation and live action all at work. Steve Kloves, writer on the Harry Potter film series, joins as a producer alongside Jonathan Cavendish, who counts Bridget Jones and Blanchett’s Elizabeth: Golden Age among his work.

There’s also, just to be confusing, another Jungle Book adaptation in the works, coming from Disney. Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong’o are among the confirmed stars.


Jungle Book: Origins is expected in cinemas on 21st October 2016.