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Andy Serkis’ ‘Jungle Book’ Casts Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and More!

Jungle Book Origins Cast
Getty Images

Just yesterday we learned that Benedict Cumberbatch of ‘The Hobbit‘ and ‘Star Trek Into Darkness‘ fame was the first to sign on to ‘Jungle Book: Origins,’ the directorial debut of the great motion-capture artist Andy Serkis. While Disney’s competing ‘Jungle Book’ movie already solidified the majority of its cast, Warner Bros. was quietly doing the same, and now we have the names of seven other stars joining Cumberbatch and Serkis.

First reported by THR, Christian Bale (voicing the black panther Begheera), Cate Blanchett (voicing the sinister python Kaa), Eddie Marsan (voicing Akela, leader of Mowgli’s wolf pack), Naomie Harris (as Nisha, the female wolf pack member), Peter Mullan (voicing Nisha’s mate Vihaan), Tom Hollander (voicing Shere Khan’s jackal sidekick Tabaqui) and Jack Reynor (Mowgli’s Brother Wolf) have joined ‘Jungle Book: Origins.’

Jungle Book Origins Rohan Chand Mowgli
Focus Features

While we already know that Cumberbatch will take on the role of Shere Khan, the villainous tiger, Rohan Chand, the kid who starred opposite Jason Bateman in ‘Bad Words,’ will take the lead role of Mowgli, and Serkis himself will portray his bear buddy Baloo. (Serkis as a motion-capture Baloo? Maybe?)

Eat your heart out, Disney!

‘Jungle Book: Origins’ is, of course, adapted from the Rudyard Kipling stories of Mowgli, a young boy raised by wolves who comes to befriend all manner of animal companions and learn the ways of the jungle. Because this source material is considered public domain, Disney is also perfectly in their rights to have a competing project, which already has Jon Favreau directing a cast that includes Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson and more.

‘Jungle Book: Origins’ is set to hit theaters on October 21, 2016, while Disney’s will drop October 9, 2015. Which one do you think has the more stellar cast?

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