Walt Disney Pictures’ upcoming The Jungle Book has found its first star. Deadline reports that Pacific Rim star Idris Elba is in final negotiations to perform the role, and will lend his voice to villainous tiger Shere Khan in the live action film.
The original Rudyard Kipling book was published in 1894 and includes, among a number of other animal-themed stories, the classic tales of an Indian boy named Mowgli who is raised by wolves and lives among the other animals in the jungle.
Disney previously released an animated version of the film in 1967 and another live-action film in 1994. The latest take features a screenplay by Justin Marks and will be directed by Jon Favreau. The film will be a mix of live action and VFX.
With Kipling’s book well into the public domain, Disney is moving very quickly as it is in a race since Warner Bros are working on a version as well. The rival project is still looking for a director after Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu dropped out.
The Jungle Book is set for release on October 9th, 2015.