Bill Murray to Voice Baloo the Bear in ‘The Jungle Book’

Bill Murray Baloo Jungle Book

Bill Murray has joined the cast of Disney’s “The Jungle Book” as the voice of Baloo the Bear.

Previously announced cast include Christopher Walken as King Louie, Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, Ben Kingsley and Lupita Nyong’o as Bagheera and Raksha, respectively; Idris Elba as Shere Khan; Scarlett Johansson as Kaa; and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli.

“The Jungle Book” will combine live-action and animation with Jon Favreau directing from a script by Justin Marks. The film will be released in 3D and open on Oct. 9, 2015.

In Rudyard Kipling’s original book, Baloo and the panther Bagheera teach the law of the jungle to the boy Mowgli — and save him from Shere Khan the tiger.

Baloo’s character was popularized in Disney’s animated 1967 cartoon, thanks to the song “The Bare Necessities,” sung by Phil Harris.

Disney announced Murray’s casting Friday, a few hours after Warner Bros. announced that it had dated its rival project “Jungle Book: Origins” for Oct. 21, 2016. Kipling’s book is in the public domain.

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  1. Derik Penman says:

    He might be a good choice.

  2. Claire says:

    Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, and Lupita Nyong’o are awesome, but come on. Let’s leave the classics they way they are.

  3. Judiette K says:

    He hated Garfield, why would he wanna do this one? Did he not learn from the other one?

  4. david Clakre says:

    John Goodman maybe, but not Bill Murray.

  5. BJAM says:

    Give a listen to Jake Smith aka The White Buffalo and know that HE should be the voice of Baloo the Bear. Jake has the voice and he’s a big mountain of a man. Sorry, Bill Murray, just can’t see you doing the voice of Baloo justice!

  6. Billy Tilden says:

    Oh boy. This will be fun with Bill’s voice. Can’t wait.

  7. Dave says:

    Didn’t Disney already make the jungle book long ago? Running out of bad ideas I see.

  8. Josh Daley says:

    Is it just me, or is Bill starting to look a little bit like Gene Hackman?

  9. Nigel Uno says:

    BAD IDEA DISNEY FOR VOICE ACTING

  10. Norris Terse says:

    Nice to see the Disney Studio is bursting with fresh ideas…

  11. Thomas W. Yale says:

    The animated film was already made in 1967. Why do they need to redo the voices?

  12. moonstruck4 says:

    Well I would go see anything with that cast. Anything even CGI and be grateful for it.

  13. This is a total failure, and belongs in a past age. I can see it now: parents begging their kids to go see this as a family outing, instead of the other way around. Kids waiting for it to be over, parents pretending to be more excited than they are.

  14. Nash says:

    I really don’t know how to feel about this. I love me some Bill Murray, but he, along with almost everyone cast just seem completely miscast. Especially Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, but I’m not gonna go on about how stupid her casting is.

    Walken as Louie, Murray as Baloo, Johansson as Kaa and even Kinglsey as Bagheera just seem too strange and most likely not going to match. Then again, I fully expect the film to be nothing but a CGI mess anyway.

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