Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) has signed on to play an explorer in Warner Bros.’ live-action Jungle Book: Origins, according to Deadline. The film will be based on the famous Rudyard Kipling novel that tells the story of a boy raised by wolves in the jungle. Pinto’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes co-star Andy Serkis is making his feature directorial debut and will also play the fun-loving bear Baloo, to be filmed using motion capture.
Pinto will be joining a human cast that is comprised of Matthew Rhys (TV’s The Americans) and Rohan Chand (Bad Words) as Mowgli. The rest of the cast that will be providing voices for various members of the animal kingdom include heavy hitters such as Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) as the tiger, Shere Khan, Christian Bale (Batman Begins) as Mowgli’s black panther caretaker, Bagheera, and Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) as the sly tree snake, Kaa. Naomie Harris (28 Days Later) will play Mowgli’s adoptive mother wolf, Nisha, and Jack Reynor (Delivery Man) will play Brother Wolf.
Pinto will add this movie to her already packed 2015 schedule. This year has already seen the release of her film Desert Dancer as well as the release on the festival circuit of Terrence Malick‘s film Knight of Cups, in which she also co-stars with Bale. She is currently lending her voice to the animated feature Yamasong: March of the Hollows and will soon be promoting The Effects of Blunt Force Trauma with Ryan Kwanten (TV’s True Blood) and Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler).
Warner Bros.’ Jungle Book: Origins is slated for an October 6, 2016 release, well after Disney’s own live-action take on the story, which is being directed by Jon Favreau (Chef) and will come out later this year.