Bill Murray to voice Baloo in Disney's new 'Jungle Book' for Jon Favreau

By Daniel S Levine,

The voice cast for The Jungle Book has just gained another famous face. Bill Murray has been cast to voice Baloo, Mowgli’s loveable bear friend, who was voiced by Phil Harris in the 1967 animated classic.

The casting was confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter and other sites late Friday. The Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day star joins an already packed cast that should help offset the fact that the movie will be fronted by the unknown Neel Sethi, who is playing Mowgli.

Earlier this week, Christopher Walken joined the cast to voice King Louie, the orangutan. Disney also has Breaking Bad actor Giancarlo Esposito voicing the wolf Akela; Scarlett Johansson voicing Kaa; Lupita Nyong’o providing the voice for wolf Rashka; and Ben Kingsley as Bagheera. Idris Elba got the part of Shere Khan, the villainous tiger.

Jon Favreau is directing the animation/live-action hybrid, which will be released on Oct. 9, 2015. A year later, Andy Serkis and Warner Bros.’ The Jungle Book: Origins will hit theaters. Both films are obviously based on Rudyard Kipling's stories, which are conveniently in the public domain.

image courtesy of Peter West/ACE/INFphoto.com

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