As you might recall, director Jon Favreau signed on to direct a CGI/live-action Jungle Book adaptation for Disney earlier this year (this is not to be confused with the other Jungle Book adaptation currently being developed at Warner Bros. as the directorial debut of Andy Serkis). Just last month Favreau signed Prometheus and The Wire MVP Idris Elba to voice the film's villainous tiger, Shere Kahn.
Now it looks like he's keen to add another pair of outstanding performers to the film. According to The Hollywood Reporter:
Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong’o are in the middle of negotiations to join the already cast Idris Elba in what is being envisioned as a live-action/CG hybrid movie.
Nyong’o is in final negotiations to play Rakcha, a mother wolf who adopts Mowgli...Johansson is in earlier stages of talks to voice the character of Kaa, the python who eats other animals by hypnotizing them.
Nyong'o is fresh off a Best Supporting Actress win for her heartwrenching work in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, while Johansson is coming off a stellar performance (no pun intended) in Jonathan Glazer's just-released Under The Skin (which may or may not be up your alley). Idris Elba, as you all know, is a goddamn badass who has been scientifically proven as incapable of doing any wrong. Let the record show that neither of these performers are officially onboard Favreau's Jungle Book just yet, but that these casting choices sound good to us.
Do we need two new Jungle Book adaptations? Perhaps not. But it sounds as though Serkis' version (co-written by Steve Kloves, of Wonderboys and Harry Potter fame) will offer a darker take on Rudyard Kipling's source material, and maybe that'll help avoid the same sort of audience fatigue we've seen in the past when dueling projects have made their way to theaters.