Bill Murray to Voice Baloo in Live-Action The Jungle Book Movie

Bill Murray to Voice Baloo in Live-Action The Jungle Book Movie

Bill Murray Baloo

Jon Favreau's live-action/animation hyrbid The Jungle Book gains another member of of its increasingly star-studded cast.

Possible proof that Hollywood is running out of ideas, moviegoers will have not one, but two, movies based on Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Over on the Disney side, Bill Murray (Ghostbusters) has joined the cast of the live-action/animation hybrid The Jungle Book, and will play Baloo the friendly bear who befriends the human orphan Mowgli. While Murray is the latest actor to join the cast, it's been known that other Hollywood actors have already been signed with Christopher Walken (Stand Up Guys) voicing King Louie the orangutan, Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) as Akela the grey wolf, Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave) as Raksha the wolf mother who adopts Mowgli, Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3) as Bagheera the panther, Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers) as the hypnotizing snake Kaa, Idris Elba (Prometheus) as the main villain Shere Khan the tiger and newcomer Neel Sethi playing Mowgli.

Justin Marks is penning the screenplay, with actor-director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) helming for a scheduled October 9, 2015 release. This film is not to be confused with Warner Bros. Pictures' live-action The Jungle Book adaptation called Jungle Book: Origins, which will be the directorial debut of Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings).

Can this be a good thing -- especially for those who have fond memories of the 1967 animated classic? Regardless of how it fares, let's hope Murray belts out his own rendition of "Bare Necessities" just to make things worthwhile.

Source and Image: The Wrap

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I'm willing to give it a shot. At this point every time I think about CGI talking animal/live action movies I still think of Alvin and the Chipmunks, which started out mediocre and just kind of kept going down. But Disney seems set on the formula, between this and the Chip n Dale flick, so hopefully they get the right writers behind the projects to do justice to their source materials. His most recent two writing credits are Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li and Rewind, so...eh. I dunno. This seems to be unlike anything he's written before, which could be very good or very bad.

I am rather interested to see what Christopher Walken does as King Louie, and a female Kaa will be fun indeed. It would seem by putting such interesting character actors behind their animals they're really wanting to make sure the performances are top notch. And that really was a big portion of the original film: interesting characters being interesting, whose misadventures just so happen to center around Mowgli. Hardly anyone remembers the plot of The Jungle Book or a single word Mowgli said, but everybody remembers Bear Necessities, I Wanna Be Like You, the signature grin of Shere Khan, and the hypnotic eyes of Kaa.

Damn, Murray has not aged well at all, has he?
As for the movie... could care less. Live-action / CGI movies range somewhere between "Bad" and "Dear God, why?" so even with serious acting talent I don't expect good things here. Besides, Murray's already been in those shoes a couple times and I think his line from Zombieland put it best:

Zombieland:

"Any regrets?"
"Garfield, maybe."

Disney, what are you doing?
Disney stahp.

I'm also concerned that large companies are explicitly making arguments against loosened IP restrictions by releasing two awful public-domain-story movies in the same season (this year, Hercules)

It was bad enough hearing about this, it's even worse that Jon Favreau is leading...just don't mention Iron Man...ever.

What is it the need to make a live action film of the already classic animated films they made years ago? Granted I will know for sure he will provide a good voice for Baloo but why the need for the remake?

Meh, call me when they make a Talespin movie.

I thought he was dead??

Astalano:
I thought he was dead??

May as well be. His last big movie role in a good movie was in "Lost in Translation" back in the good old 2003.

Oh please, oh please, oh please tell me we'll get to see Baloo come down with Tourette's!

Unless they're completely rewriting the characters most of these actors feels... wrong. I mean, Baloo is a big, dumb, happy-go-lucky bear. Bill Murray's voice just doesn't strike me as "dumb".

Even so, it might be good. Initially it just feels like some strange choices to voice this movie.

Christopher Walken as King Louie, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera the jaguar, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Idris Elba as Shere Khan and now Bill Murray as Baloo.

I'm not one to get all excited over actors but... this sounds amazing.

image
This also seems appropriate.

Anyone else remember that live action Jungle Book film starting Jason Scott Lee? That seemed okay. Anyone? No?

Adam Jensen:

Astalano:
I thought he was dead??

May as well be. His last big movie role in a good movie was in "Lost in Translation" back in the good old 2003.

I think he was good as the lead in "Life Aquatic" and "Broken Flowers", and he's been consistently funny in a bunch of small roles as well: The Limits of Control, Zombieland, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, The Monuments Men, The Grand Budapest Hotel...

Alex Co:
This film is not to be confused with Warner Bros. Pictures' live-action The Jungle Book adaptation called Jungle Book: Origins, which will be the directorial debut of Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings).

As fun as "Bill Murray the Bear" is, I'm much more intrigued and surprised by Gollum directing a movie.

Alex Co:

Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3) as Bagheera the jaguar

Hey Alex, there aren't any jaguars in Jungle Book (or the Indian jungle for that matter)...

although I wouldn't put it past those meddling Disneyans.

Live action is going to be terrible, just like Garfield, and just like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

You'd think Murray would be less inclined to do this after regretting Garfield so much

s_h_a_d_o:

Alex Co:

Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3) as Bagheera the jaguar

Hey Alex, there aren't any jaguars in Jungle Book (or the Indian jungle for that matter)...

although I wouldn't put it past those meddling Disneyans.

Ah, damnit! He's a panther, right? I get those two mixed up. :(

Alex Co:

s_h_a_d_o:

Alex Co:

Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3) as Bagheera the jaguar

Hey Alex, there aren't any jaguars in Jungle Book (or the Indian jungle for that matter)...

although I wouldn't put it past those meddling Disneyans.

Ah, damnit! He's a panther, right? I get those two mixed up. :(

Black Panthers are actually just melanistic jaguars/leopards. Jaguars and Leopards are from the Panthera species. So all Black Panthers are Panthers, all Jaguars and Leopards are Panthers, but Jaguars only live in the Americas. Thus, Bagheera is most likely a Black Leopard/Panther.

ENOUGH! Stop recreating old movies like this!

I was all set to get angry about this, as usual, but then I remembered that Disney has already done this before and the world didn't end.

fi6eka:
Meh, call me when they make a Talespin movie.

Will that also star Bill Murray in it, by chance?

OT: This is all just reminding me of the two Hercules-type movies that came out this year... Only I kinda want to see both of these Jungle Book movies on just name association alone...

 

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