I chatted with director Jon Favreau in Sydney about his CGI 3D masterpiece The Jungle Book for Disney with the only live action from Neel Sethi – the actor playing Mowgli.

Here are the trailers side by side – for Favreau’s 2016 version + Disney’s 1967 animated classic:


Favreau went through the Contacts list in his phone and found a few talented friends to give voice to his beautifully realized jungle creatures:

Christopher Walken, Scarlett Johannson, Edris Elba, Sam Raimi, Ben Kingsley, Garry Shandling, Lupito Nyong’o, Giancarlo Esposito, and of course Bill Murray as Baloo.

Here he is singing (superbly) that famous song – The Bare Necessities with Neel Sethi who is adorably tone-deaf:

Favreau re-invented the superhero genre when he combined his talent with Robert Downey Jr and created Iron Man. Now he’s proving he is one of the great directors with a lot more to come.

I have loved his work since the movies Swingers and Made (with his mate Vince Vaughan). 

My prediction for the sequel – Mowgli gets a girlfriend:

[Thanks to The Whole Picture Pty Ltd & Disney for the time with Favreau.]