Bollywood stars Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan, Nana Patekar, Om Puri and Shefali Shah are all set to lend their voice for the Hindi version of Disney's upcoming American live-action epic release, "The Jungle Book".
The original film is a re-imagining of Walt Disney's 1967 animated movie of the same name and stars Indian-American actor Neel Sethi as Mowgli. It features the voice talents of Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken. In the Hindi version, Priyanka will voice Kaa, the python. Irrfan will lend his voice to the friendly bear Baloo, while actress Shefali Shah will dub for Raksha, the wolf. Veteran actor Puri, who has been often honoured for his performances in India and abroad, will lend his voice to Bagheera, the Black Panther.
The Studio has also approached powerful performer Nana Patekar, who recently wowed critics and audience with his riveting performance in Marathi film "Natsamrat", to once again lend his voice to Shere Khan.
Back in the early 90s, Nana had dubbed for the fearsome tiger in the animated series, "Jungle Book: The Adventures of Mowgli" that was aired on Doordarshan.
"The Jungle Book is so very special to India, and we want our audience enjoy Disney's all-new live-action adaptation. We wanted nothing but the best for the Hindi version of the film. We are so excited to have such veterans and A list actors come together to voice and bring alive these beloved characters making it like a hi scale Hindi film," said Amrita Pandey, Vice-President, Studios, Disney India.
"The Jungle Book" has been directed by "Iron Man" helmer Jon Favreau, and inspired by Rudy Kipling’s adventure stories based in India and Disney's animated version. The Indian audience will get to watch the movie on April 8, a week before US release.