Bill Murray Cast as Baloo the Bear in The Jungle Book Live-Action Animation Film

Bill Murray

The Jungle Book has added yet another veteran actor to its already star-studded cast. Bill Murray will portray the “Bare Necessities” singing Baloo the Bear in the upcoming live-action reboot, Walt Disney Studios announced in a press release on Friday, Aug. 1.

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The character Baloo the Bear—who tries to convince a boy to leave the jungle for a better life in human civilization—was originally voiced by actor Phil Harris in the original 1967 film.

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Other stars previously confirmed for the animation movie includes Ben Kingsley (Bagheera), 12 Years a Slave Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (Raksha), Idris Elba (Shere Khan), and Scarlett Johansson as Kaa. Disney recently welcomed 10-year-old newcomer Neel Sethi to play the starring role of Mowgli. 

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The Jungle Book
Baloo the Bear in The Jungle Book Walt Disney Pictures/Courtesy: Everett Collection

“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,” the studio announced in a statement to Us Weekly last month.

Although green to Hollywood, director Jon Favreau is confident with Sethi’s acting chops. “Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative,” he said in a statement. “Neel has tremendous talent and charisma.” 

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The Jungle Book will hit theaters in 3D on October 9, 2015.

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