Disney has cast newcomer Neel Sethi in his first ever acting role as Mowgli in Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book. The film will be directed by Jon Favreau with script by Justin Marks and is set for an October 9, 2015 release date.
“Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative,” Favreau said in a statement. “Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it.”
Casting director Sarah Finn described Sethi as embodying “the heart, humor, and daring of the character. He’s warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation. Even though he has no professional acting experience, his natural charisma and instincts jumped out at us.”
Sethi is the only actor who will appear on screen in the film with all others created with computer generated animals. Ben Kinglsey was previously reported as voicing the character of Bagheera in the film.