Disney Casts Newcomer Neel Sethi Out of Thousands as Mowgli in The Jungle Book Live Action Film
Meet Neel Sethi! Disney announced in a statement to Us Weekly on July 15 that they've finally decided upon an actor to portray Mowgli in the upcoming live-action and animation portrayal of The Jungle Book—and he's never acted before!
"After an extensive worldwide search ranging from New York to New Zealand, London to Canada, and all throughout the United States and India, The Walt Disney Studios is pleased to announce that 10-year-old Neel Sethi will play the part of Mowgli in Disney’s The Jungle Book," the statement reads. "Neel is a newcomer from New York picked from among thousands of auditions, and his role in The Jungle Book marks his first foray into acting."
That's right—the 10-year-old cutie has never acted a day in his life, but Disney doesn't seem to be worried.
“Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative,” director Jon Favreau said, adding, "Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it."
Casting director Sarah Finn adds the adorable 10-year-old "embodies the heart, humor and daring of the character…he's warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation. Even though he has no professional acting experience, his natural charisma and instincts jumped out at us."
Not only will Sethi take on the iconic character sans any experience, he's also set to be the only actor onscreen in the film, which is a combination of live-action and animation!
The Jungle Book is set to be released in 3D on October 9, 2015.