With two live action versions of The Jungle Book in the works – one from Warner Bros. and one from Disney – so the race is on to get them into cinemas. Now Disney’s one, which Jon Favreau is set to direct, is close to signing Idris Elba to perform and provide the voice for the tiger Shere Khan.
Shere Khan is the deadly jungle cat who stalks and threatens Mowgli, the young boy brought up by animals in the Indian jungle. He believe Mowgli is a threat that will only grow as he ages.
Robert Legato, who was instrumental to the effects in Avatar (and won an Oscar for it), will oversee the motion capture in the adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling novel. He’ll work with production designers Alex McDowell (Man of Steel) and Chris Glass, and concept artists Michael Kutsche (Maleficent), Iain McCaig (Star Wars: Episode VII ) and Justin Sweet (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe). David Lowery (Iron Man ) is heading up the story team, which is working around the clock with seven full-time illustrators, with Legacy Effects in charge of rigging and creature design.
Disney is keen to beat Warner Bros.’ take on the classic story to the big screen. Currently Disney has the advantage, as director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu stepped aside several weeks ago, and as yet there’s no replacement.