“Disney enthusiasts lined up outside the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on Monday night to watch the red-carpet premiere of the highly anticipated film, The Jungle Book.
The live-action version of the 1967 Disney classic features a massive star-studded cast, including Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, and Lupita Nyong’o, who all lend their voices to bring to life the beloved characters in Mowgli’s story.
“The original film was the only time Walt Disney had celebrity casting, so I felt that in keeping with that tradition, I wanted to hire people whose voices were recognizable. It turned into something [where] the cast was able to breathe life in humanity into these digital characters,” said Jungle Book director Jon Favreau to The Hollywood Reporter.
Among the cast was newcomer Neel Sethi, whose role as Mowgli is his first major film appearance. He discussed how Favreau helped him through the first stages of filming.
“Yes, it was a little hard,” Sethi said, “but Jon really helped me through it all. There were puppets there and he got into the puppets and interacted with me and that made it a lot of fun.”
The film has been noted for its impressive digital and CGI effects, which turned the soundstages at LA Center Studios in Downtown Los Angeles, where The Jungle Book was filmed, into the remote Indian jungle.
A major element of the film is the music, which composer John Debney touched upon in trying to balance the soundtrack people have come to know and love with his own take on the original score.
“We knew going in that we wanted to honor the music of the original so we utilized a lot of the original. My job was to kind of take all the colonels of the original and yet to bring it to this new contemporary world,” said Debney…”