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Idris Elba to Play Shere Khan in ‘The Jungle Book’

Idris Elba, Shere Khan
BBC, Disney

Idris Elba has been on the verge of superstardom for a while now, and his latest role might get him in the hearts of young children (or at least frighten them). Elba is in final negotiations to join the cast of Jon Favreau‘s upcoming live-action version of ‘The Jungle Book‘ as the voice of the dangerous tiger Shere Khan.

This news comes from Deadline, and it’s an interesting choice for the British actor. Elba has been a favorite of casting directors since his turn as Stringer Bell on ‘The Wire,’ and has landed in a couple films by Ridley Scott (including ‘Prometheus‘) and recently played Stacker Pentecost in Guillermo del Toro‘s ‘Pacific Rim.’ He’s also got a recurring role in the ‘Thor‘ franchise as Heimdall. Fans have long hoped he’ll get a role like James Bond, but though he’s worked in blockbusters, he’s never been given the lead.

Elba is the first big casting announcement for the adaptation, while we may be hearing more about the project shortly as Jon Favreau is currently at SXSW with his upcoming film ‘Chef.’ But with this movement it looks like Disney is trying to beat Warner Brothers (who is also working on their own version of ‘The Jungle Book’) out of the gate, as when it comes to competing titles, the first one is usually the more successful of the two.

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