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Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong’o Open ‘Jungle Book’; Felicity Joins Answers ‘Monster Calls’ as Liam Neeson Rumored

Written by on April 24, 2014 

A less-than-promising studio tentpole nabs respectable names and we’re supposed to take it seriously? The easily impressionable have let it happen many times before, and, for some, it will happen yet again on The Jungle Book, which is looking to nab Scarlett Johansson and recent Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave). This, however, is not an opportunity to see two of Hollywood’s more affable leading ladies put on some ridiculous jungle garb: being a live-action / CG hybrid deal, the former in talks to voice Kaa, a “python who eats other animals by hypnotizing them,” while the latter is up for the part of “Rakcha, a mother wolf who adopts [protagonist] Mowgli.” No word on how you transform her into a “mother wolf,” be it through CG or make-up. [THR]

Jon Favreau will helm, working at the behest of Disney and from a screenplay by Justin Marks. Idris Elba is expected to bark about as a man-eating tiger, Shere Khan, who serves as the primary antagonist; their Mowgli hasn’t been set into place, but an October 9, 2015 release date should ensure this happens soon enough.

In news concerning Juan Antonio Bayona, Deadline report that Felicity Jones is the first to be cast in his developing A Monster Calls, with Liam Neeson currently being courted, too — which is not certain to make way for a screen appearance, but is nevertheless out there. As based on a book by Patrick Ness — the author has adapted his text for the screen, too — it concerns a boy who escapes into a monster- and fairy tale-filled fantasy world; the actress will play his mother, despite being perhaps a bit young at only 30 years old. Neeson as a child-terrifying monster, though? Well, sure — no one’s going to argue against that.

Focus Features will release A Monster Calls in 2016, with additional support coming from Participant Media, River Road Entertainment, and Lionsgate International.

On one last note, The Daily Mail have word that Sean Bean will die once more in Caesar, the latest production based on Shakespeare‘s (as is redundant to say) classic tragedy of Roman politics. Samantha Barks (Les Misérables), Mackenzie Crook (Pirates of the Caribbean), John Boyega (Attack the Block), and John Bradley (Game of Thrones) are to appear as Portia, Cassius, Titinius, and Casca, respectively, under the guidance of newcomer Tiago Mesquita. The screenplay, by Kira Madallo Sesay, tells a story you surely know the basics of, but how it differentiates itself enough to justify yet another trip down this particular path remains to be seen.

Caesar will begin shooting this summer.

Do you find promise in any of the projects noted above? How does casting change any potential expectations?


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