Sir Ben Kingsley leads the pack for Jungle Book premiere


Sir Ben Kingsley will lead the pack of stars walking the red carpet in London for The Jungle Book's European premiere.

After his acclaimed turn as Gandhi more than 30 years ago, the Oscar-winning actor has returned to India, this time lending his silky voice to the character of black panther Bagheera in the live action update of Rudyard Kipling's famous tales.

The Jungle Book
Mowgli and Bagheera, played by newcomer Neel Sethi and Sir Ben Kingsley (Disney Enterprises)

The new movie was also inspired by the 1967 Disney adaptation.

He will be joined at the BFI Imax event by Neel Sethi, who plays Mowgli, the human boy lost in the jungle as a baby and raised by a pair of Indian wolves, Raksha (Lupita Nyong'o) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito), until he is hunted down by battle-scarred tiger Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba.

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Mowgli and Baloo, voiced by Bill Murray (Disney Enterprises)

The Jungle Book is 12-year-old Neel's first time on screen, having been selected as the lead from thousands of children in auditions that spread the globe from London to New Zealand.

He is the only human in a CGI spectacle of fearsome creatures, including hypnotic snake Kaa, voiced by Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray as loveable bear Baloo, and Christopher Walken as giant ape King Louie.

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Christopher Walken lends his distinctive tones to King Louie (Disney Enterprises)

Director Jon Favreau, who has been widely praised for his dark remake, will also be in attendance.

The Jungle Book is out in UK cinemas on Friday.