Idris Elba to Voice Shere Khan in Disney's Live Action 'JUNGLE BOOK' Adaptation
According to Deadline, Idris Elba is in final negotiations to play 'Shere Khan' in Disney's upcoming live-action/VFX remake of THE JUNGLE BOOK. He will provide the voice, and presumably do motion capture for the role.
The film, directed by Jon Favreau, is based on the Kipling classic, which follows an orphaned boy who was raised by wolves and other animals. The animals act as protectors for the boy from the evil tiger Shere Khan (Elba).
The Jungle Book is a collection of stories written in 1894 by British Nobel laureate Kipling The stories were first published in magazines in 1893-94. The original publications contain illustrations, some by Rudyard's father, John Lockwood Kipling. In 1967 Walt Disney Productions released an animated version of the collection. The film was the 19th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series.
Disney's live-action movie version is set for release on October 9, 2015, while Warner Bros. is also developing their own adaptation.
The story of Mowgli's adventures in the jungles of India has also recently been adapted as a stage musical. THE JUNGLE BOOK ran this fall as a joint premiere by Chicago's Goodman Theatre and Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, produced by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions.
Elba is perhaps best known for his role as the calculating de facto leader of a Baltimore drug empire in HBO's critically acclaimed original series "The Wire." In 2005, he received an Image Award nomination for his work on the series. Also for HBO, Elba starred in the movie "Sometimes In April," from director Raoul Peck. Set during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, the movie marked his first film starring role. Elba played a Hutu soldier who tries to save his Tutsi wife and family, earning another Image Award nomination for his performance.
Elba most recently starred in the "Daddy's Little Girls," with Gabrielle Union under the direction of Tyler Perry. He next stars in the horror thriller "28 Weeks Later," the much-anticipated sequel to the zombie hit "28 Days Later," which is due out in May 2007. Additionally, he recently completed production on Ridley Scott's "American Gangster," with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, and is currently filming the holiday comedy "This Christmas."
Elba's other film credits include "The Gospel," for director Rob Hardy; "Buffalo Soldiers," with Joaquin Phoenix and Ed Harris; and "Beautiful Mother," with Catherine Deneuve.
On television, Elba has guest starred on such series as "Law & Order" and "CSI: Miami," and starred in the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries "Ultraviolet." In his native England, he starred in the recent Channel 4 telefilm "All in the Game," and earlier guest starred on a number of series, including the BBC's "Silent Witness" and "Dangerfield."