lupita nyong'oWell, it was only a matter of time before Lupita Nyong'o, recent Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for "12 Years a Slave," landed her first big post-Oscar Hollywood gig (and no, "Non-Stop" doesn't count). Well, that gig has just been landed, although it's probably not what you were expecting. It seems that Nyong'o will voice Rakcha, a mother wolf, in Disney's big-screen retelling of "The Jungle Book," at least according to the Hollywood Reporter.

But that's not all. The same report indicates that Scarlett Johansson, currently making waves with her provocative role in Jonathan Glazer's deeply brilliant and bizarre "Under the Skin" (not to mention storming the box office in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"), has also been cast in the new film, as the villainous python Kaa. (In the original 1967 Disney animated classic, Kaa was very much a dude, essayed by legendary Disney voice actor Sterling Holloway.) Last year, Johansson got a lot of praise (and considerable Oscar buzz) for her vocal performance as a sentient computer program in Spike Jonze's "Her." But voicing Kaa will be a different beast altogether (pun very much intended).

The two comely actresses join Idris Elba, who has already agreed to take on the role of Shere Khan, the man-eating tiger, in the live action/CGI hybrid being directed by Jon Favreau. Justin Marks has written the script for the project, which is scheduled for release on October 9, 2015.

Warner Bros. has a competing "Jungle Book" project to be directed by Gollum himself, Andy Serkis.

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categories Movies