“I met Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley and we played football together.”
The trailer for The Jungle Book (2016), starring a young Desi American actor Neel Sethi, was revealed during the Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016.
The 12-year-old from New York will play the role of Mowgli on a journey of survival and self-discovery in the reboot of the 1967 Disney production.
Speaking about his audition for the breakout role, Sethi says: “I watched the movie beforehand but that never stopped me from like changing it at all.
“I was just being myself. And Me and Mowgli are kind of the same; stubborn, energetic and are full of confidence.”
Director Jon Favreau is paying tribute to the wonderful works of the 1894 book by Rudyard Kipling, which tells the tale of an Indian-American man-cub who is raised by a family of wolves in the jungle.
The story follows Mowgli as he runs for his life while living amongst the various animal species in the jungle.
Favreau, who is known for his work in Iron Man, Elf and Chef, says:
“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.”
When asked about working with Favreau, the young Desi American talent replies:
“He showed me what real acting is and like I learned it like first hand, and he showed me like how to like be dramatic without being over-dramatic.”
Apart from working with a major Hollywood director, Sethi also manages to spend time with two screen legends, saying:
“I met Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley – that was really fun.
“We played football together. And we had a really awesome experience since it’s my favorite sport. Bill can, like, bomb it [and toss long passes].”
Favreau’s re-take on this Disney film looks to push the boundaries on this all time classic by turning it into a 3D live animation adventure.
Sethi is the only live-action actor in the film where the animals will come to life on screen with the use of CGI.
The animals will be voiced by an all-star Hollywood cast, including Idris Elba (tiger Shere Khan), Ben Kingsley (panther Bagheera), Bill Murray (bear Baloo), Scarlett Johansson (python Kaa) and Christopher Walken (King Louie).
You can watch the first trailer for The Jungle Book here:
Disney’s The Jungle Book is to be released in cinema on April 15, 2016.