THE JUNGLE BOOK Finds its Baloo: Bill Murray
By Charles Webb on August 2, 2014
Now that Bill Murray has joined the cast of The Jungle Book, I can’t… bear* the wait to see the film.
The Lost in Translation and Ghostbusters star has signed on to play Baloo the bear in the CG/live-action adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling book. And who better to play the perennially chill bear than the modern avatar of not sweating it?
Murray would follow other well-known interpretations of the character including Phil Harris’ in the 1967 animated film (also out of Disney), who made the character famous thanks to the song “The Bare Necessities.” Also, sorry for any viewers of a certain age who’ve seen that movie and now have the song stuck in their head for the rest of the day. My bad.
In the 1894 book, Baloo – along with Bagheera (the previously cast Sir Ben Kingsley) – teach human boy Mowgli (Neel Sethi) the Law of the Jungle as he grows up away from the world of men.
This isn’t Murray’s first voice over rodeo, of course: the actor lent his voice to Wes Anderson’s adaptation of The Fantastic Mr. Fox as Badger, and famously collected a paycheck for the pair of Garfield live-action movies, telling Redditors earlier this year that he only took the role thinking that the “Joel Coen” who’d written the script was one of the Oscar-winning Coen brothers. It wasn’t.
Lupita Nyong’o (Rakasha), Christopher Walken (King Louie), Giancarlo Esposito (Akela), and Idris Elba (Shere Khan) also star in The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau. The film will be in theaters on October 9, 2015.
*Sorry, I didn’t have time to throw in a .gif of David Caruso taking his shades off to give that pun some extra punch.