Idris Elba Set To Voice Villainous Tiger Shere Khan In Jon Favreau's Live Action 'Jungle Book' Film

For some strange reason, there's recently been an upsurge in interest for big studios to adapt Disney animated classics and fairy tales back to the big screen. With Warner Bros. currently getting things rolling with their David Yates (Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2) directed Tarzan film, and Disney's own upcoming live action adaption including this summer's Maleficent, most major studios have been quick to jump on the bandwagon with this one. Whatever the reason may be, Warner Bros. also has their own Jungle Book adaption in the works, yet Disney seems to currently have the upper hand, with a confirmed director in the form of Jon Favreau (Iron Man), and their first official casting announcement. Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) is set to play the film's iconic villain; the menacing Bengal tiger Shere Khan.
The news comes to us courtesy of Deadline, who report that Elba has been the first actor to sign on for the upcoming Jungle Book adaption. While there had originally not been too much official word regarding this film, with the exception of the announcement that Favreau would be directing, it seems Disney has enough confidence in their upcoming Maleficent adaption starring Angelina Jolie, that they've been quick to greenlight Jungle Book as well. Elba is of course a very strong first cast addition, specifically in a role as key as Shere Khan. Elba can certainly bring a very distinct voice and menace to the character, separating it from it's original incarnation.
It's likely Elba may even provide some motion capture work for the role, similar to what Benedict Cumberbatch did in the role Smaug for The Hobbit films. With the recent advancements we've seen in technology, it's likely that Favreau and the studio are looking to take full advantage of the CG effects that'll help bring the story to life, while still restoring it's more fantastical elements. Coincidently, we recently saw an outstanding CG version of a Bengal tiger in the form of "Richard Parker" and Ang Lee's Life of Pi, so don't surprised if Favreau and co. look back on that as a reference.
As I stated above, many of Disney's rival studios have been keen on adapting many of their animated film's into grittier live action films. David Yate's Tarzan was finally able to kick things into gear with an impressive cast (Including Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson), while Warner Bros. is rumored to be eyeing director Ron Howard (Rush) for their own Jungle Book film. WB also has a Peter Pan prequel simply titled Pan set for a summer 2015 release, which also has some big stars on board such as Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy), and Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine).
With all this competition to worry about, it's easy to see why Disney is so interested in adapting Jungle Book, to the point that they've prioritized it over Favreau's Magic Kingdom film that's been in development for quite some time at the studio. The recent rise of interest in adapting these stories heir competitors is surely the reason Disney has become much more conscious of the relevance of the live-action films they have in development. It's hard to blame Disney for wanting to keep up with the trend they started in the first place, and only time will tell if the film's completed cast can compete with that of the many other adaptions in development.
So what do you think of Idris Elba voicing Shere Khan? What other actors would you like to see join the cast? Let us know below!