Oscar winner Ben Kingsley (“Gandhi”) has been cast as the voice of Bagheera the black panther in Disney”s upcoming live action/animated “The Jungle Book.”
The “Book” cast already includes Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson and recent Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o.
Like previous film versions, “Book” will center on Mowgli, an orphan boy raised in the jungles of India by such friendly beats as Bagheera and Baloo the bear. Not all of them are friendly though — especially the tiger known as Shere Khan.
Disney first adapted Rudyard Kipling”s 19th century stories in the hit 1967 animated musical, and released a live-action take in 1994 starring Jason Scott Lee and Lena Headey.
The latest version will be directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “Chef”) from a script by Justin Marks (“Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li”).
Meanwhile, there's another “Jungle Book” taking shape at Warner Bros., with Ron Howard directing.
Kingsley was recently seen in “Ender's Game” and “Iron Man 3.” He'll also be heard in the upcoming animated film “The Boxtrolls.”
“The Jungle Book” swings into theaters October 9, 2015.