Disney's 'Jungle Book' Casts Mowgli as Only On-Screen Actor in Film
by Ethan Anderton
July 15, 2014
The cast of Disney's new live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book has filled out rather nicely with Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o and Ben Kingsley all taking roles. However, all those talents are voicing the animals in the Rudyard Kipling tale, and we've been waiting to see who would end up taking the lead role of the young boy Mowgli, who is raised by the jungle around him. Now Disney has announced that 10-year old Neel Sethi will make his acting debut in the film directed by Jon Favreau after being picked out of thousands of auditions from across the United States, New Zealand, London, Canada and India. Read on!
Casting director Sarah Finn commented on this casting:
"Neel embodies the heart, humor, and daring of the character. He’s warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation. Even though he has no professional acting experience, his natural charisma and instincts jumped out at us.”
Meanwhile, Favreau said, "Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative. Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it.” Favreau has cast some impressive young talent in his own films from Elf to Chef most recently, so he knows how to handle kids and spot their potential. And the kid has to be great, because he's going to be the only on-screen actor throughout the entire film. But we're betting the other actors will be around to help him out, because they're supposedly supposed to be doing the motion-capture work to bring their animals to life. Excited?