Disney's D23 live action panel is in full effect this afternoon, as the studio teases their new Marvel and Star Wars movies to a packed house. They also have the live action The Jungle Book arriving next year, and brought out the cast and it's director Jon Favreau. They not only debuted the first footage from this adaptation of the iconic Richard Kipling novel, which we hope to have for you here shortly. They also released the first poster, which was handed out to audience members leaving the auditorium. We have the poster for you to check out here.
Jon Favreau revealed that this was his first ever D23, and that he was born the year Disney released the original animated The Jungle Book in 1967. He's recently been hanging out with Richard Sherman, who wrote all the music for the original Disney classic. He then went on to praise Disney for their cutting edge personality as a studio, reminding fans of Steamboat Willie, and how innovative that was when it was originally released.
This The Jungle Book is a mix of CGI and live action, with Jon Favreau explaining that the best CGI is the CGI that you don't see. And that's what he hopes fans take away from his work. He then introduced his cast to the D23 audience, who remained awe-struck throughout the presentation. Lupita Nyong'o and the young Neel Sethi, who plays Mowgli, arrived on stage first. They were then joined by Ben Kingsley. It is noted that 10 year old Neel Sethi is the only living actor seen on screen, and that the movie was built much like an animated feature. The young actor filmed his scenes against the animation, while the rest of the cast did motion capture.
Ben Kingsley went onto captivate the crowd with his tales from the set. He explained that he first met his director on Iron Man 3. He then goes to joke that 'you never work with children or animals'. But he just worked with a child, and played an animal, and he loved it. He then turned to his young co-star and called him 'astounding purity.'
Ben Kingsley plays the black panther Bagheera, who is seen in the first poster staring down Mowgli. It is then revealed that Lupita Nyong'o is playing Raksha, the mother wolf who cares for the young Mowgli. Jon Favreau says that he is most proud of the bond that is formed between Raksha and Mowgli in the movie. The director and his stars then went onto introduce the first footage, which is basically a trailer.
The sneak peek begins with narration from Scarlett Johansson, who is playing the snake Kaa. The CGI is flawless. Next up is a scene of Bill Murray as Baloo humming /disney-jungle-book-movie-song-bill-murray/Bare Necessities. That turns into the booming score. When it was over, the crowd gave this first teaser a standing ovation. We're not sure when the rest of the world will get to see the footage, but you can get a first peek here, with the very first poster.