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Walken Joins ‘The Jungle Book’

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14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - ArrivalsChristopher Walken is to voice the orangutan King Louie in Disney’s new version of the Jungle Book.

The Hollywood star is the latest name to be revealed for Jon Favreau’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s book.

Giancarlo Esposito, who starred in the television series Breaking Bad, will also join the cast in the film which is a mixture of live action and computer-generated animation.

Walken is taking on the role of the ape who became famous for singing I Wanna Be Like You in the 1967 animated version.

The character, which was voiced by Louis Prima, did not feature in the original book as orangutans are not native to India where it is set.

The duo join Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli – the only actor to physically appear on screen.

The 3D picture has an October 2015 release date.

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Callum Turner Joins Fantastic Beasts 2 As Newt’s Brother

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There was inevitable apprehension before the release of last year’s Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, considering the success and quality of the much-loved Harry Potter franchise. Yet it proved that such a wizarding world can still cast a spell upon audiences, grossing $814 million worldwide.

With the solid foundations laid by Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander and company, details are starting to emerge ahead of its second instalment, with a further three in the pipeline.

Already on board to play a younger version of Albus Dumbledore and following in the footsteps of Richard Harris and Michael Gambon will be Jude Law, who has been recently stunning viewers with his outstanding turn in the Paulo Sorrentino HBO drama The Young Pope.

Keeping it British, another crucial role has been filled for its follow-up, with Callum Turner joining the ensemble as Newt’s brother.

Callum Turner

The 27-year-old actor has already displayed a keen eye for the fantastical with his showing in Victor Frankenstein, along with playing a prominent role in Jeremy Saulnier’s punk survival horror Green Room, which was one of the stronger genre offerings of last year.

David Yates will be returning to direct with J.K Rowling polishing the script once again. The sequel is to be released in November 2018.

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Will Smith in Talks to Play the Genie in Guy Ritchie’s Live-Action Aladdin

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Will Smith is in talks to take on the role of the Genie in Disney’s live-action Aladdin.

According to Deadline, the actor, last seen in the critically disliked fantasy Collateral Beauty, could be following in the footsteps of Robin Williams with the comic role in Guy Ritchie’s adaptation. The film will be the latest of the company’s increasing set of live-action takes of their successful animated films.

Smith was in negotiations to take on a role in Tim Burton’s Dumbo but the deal failed to work out. Ritchie’s Aladdin will start shooting this summer in the UK and Disney is reportedly seeking unknown actors for the lead roles and there will be no whitewashing with producer Dan Lin suggesting the film will have a “diverse” cast.

genie

According to Sean Bailey, head of motion picture production at Disney, the film will be a “highly energized” musical. This year has already seen the studio celebrating global success for Beauty and the Beast, with the film earning over $1bn worldwide. As well as Dumbo and Aladdin, the studio also has plans to remake Mulan, Peter Pan, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Pocahontas.

Ritchie’s next film, a fresh take on King Arthur, will be released next month. Smith will next be seen in Bright, a Netflix thriller about a cop partnered with an orc.

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Robert Downey Jr Cast As Doctor Dolittle

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Iron Man himself Robert Downey Jr has been cast as Doctor Dolittle in a planned reboot.

The actor will play the role of a doctor who can talk to animals, a character created by Hugh Lofting in a series of children’s books from the 1920s.

We have seen the character on screen before, in the 1967 musical Doctor Dolittle played by Rex Harrison and in the more popular films starring Eddie Murphy.

Stephen Gaghan (Gold and Syriana) is on board as director.

 

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