Christopher Walken to Play an Orangutan in Disney's 'Jungle Book'

July 28, 2014

Christopher Walken

It's the role that everyone has been dying to see Christoper Walken take, they just didn't know it. Walt Disney Pictures has just announced the star of a wide variety of films such as Catch Me If You Can, Hairspray, Wedding Crashers, Man on Fire and Mousehunt will take an animal role in their new live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's classic The Jungle Book from director Jon Favreau. The studio has announced that Walken will play King Louie, the ruler of a troop of monkeys and apes. In addition, "Breaking Bad" star Giancarlo Esposito  will play Akela, the leader of the wolf pack. That's a great cast!

The two new actors join an animal cast that includes Idris Elba as the tiger Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as the python Kaa and Lupita Nyong'o as Rakcha, the mother wolf who adopts the orphaned Mowgli in the jungle and Ben Kingsley as Bagheera the black panther. Just a couple ago we learned that Disney had chosen a fresh young face to take the role of Mowgli in the form of Neel Sethi, who will be the only live-action actor to appear on-screen in the film. We weren't all that sure a new take on The Jungle Book was necessary, but this cast is just fantastic, and we're very interested to see how this turns out. Thoughts?

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  • Maxx
    I am loving this cast!
    • Stephen Ritchie
      What is the point of having an entire cast made up of high profile celebs and none of them are going to be on the screen itself? It just seems like a waste of talent they are just only there to provide their voices and further more showing how Disney is not dependent on the success of this film without adding big names. They could have easily pulled off the voice animal cast with unknown actors and it would still be the same movie no matter what. I applaud them for getting an unknown to play Mowgli (The only one to appear in live-action form) but the rest could have been to. I also feel by having these familiar voices voicing the actual animals would be a major distraction towards the story. People are not going to hear King Louie they are just going to hear Christopher Walken. Now compared to if it was an unknown actor people didn't know that distraction would not be in place and then the audience would think and feel they are seeing the character on the screen not just thinking about the voice.
      • jay
        I dont necessarily disagree with you, but to answer your question, the point is money. A list voice acting will cost more initially but, if the past is any indicator of the future, will ultimately lead to more sales. That is why. Because Disney is a business and a businesses job is to make as much money as possible, so they are making as much money as possible.
    I hear he hides a mean watch.
  • Ricardo_PT
    It would be hard to beat Maurice...
  • TheOct8pus
    That man sees commas that nobody else sees.
  • Tuomas Lassila
    Making movies is never about if making them is necessary, it's about wanting to make them.
    • TheOct8pus
      I guess you could say that about any art, architecture or creation.
      • Tuomas Lassila
  • Ogre Magi
    But orangutans don't live in India




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