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Lupita Nyong'o And Scarlett Johansson To Star Alongside Idris Elba In Jon Favreau's 'The Jungle Book'?

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Lupita Nyong'o and Scarlett Johansson
(Photo : Reuters/Danny Moloshok/Mario Anzuoni) Lupita Nyong'o and Scarlett Johansson might join Idris Elba in Disney's "The Jungle Book

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Academy Award-winner Lupita Nyong'o and BAFTA-winner Scarlett Johansson are in talks to star in Disney's upcoming adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book".

According to THR, Nyong'o could provide the voice of Mowgli's wolf mother Rakcha and Johansson, who recently delved into the world of voiceover work in Spike Jonze's "Her", will play Kaa, the villainous python.

The feature, which will be a combination of live action and CGI, has reportedly already snagged new dad Idris Elba, who will voice the evil tiger Shere Khan. Jon Favreau will direct; if Johansson officially signs on, "The Jungle Book" will be her second collaboration with the "Iron Man 2" director. "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li" has written the script for "The Jungle Book", and "Tomorrowland" producer Brigham Taylor will produce alongside Favreau.

This isn't the only high-profile Disney movie People Magazine's recently named Most Beautiful person Nyong'o is rumored to be signing on for. THR also reported last month that the "12 Years a Slave" actress has met with "Star Wars: Episode VII" director J.J. Abrams about joining the franchise in a lead role.

Johansson, who recently announced her first pregnancy, is currently filming Joss Whedon's "Avengers: Age of Ultron".

Disney's version of "The Jungle Book" is slated for release on Oct. 9, 2015, and will find competition in Warner Bros' live action, Andy Serkis-led adaptation of the book, which will heavily employ Serkis' specialty motion capture.

Though, with this latest casting news, it seems Disney currently has a jumpstart on Warner, as CinemaBlend points out, the two films could potentially face off the way "Mirror Mirror" and "Snow White and the Huntsmen" did in 2012. No production date for Disney's adaptation has been set, but we can assume they'll set one soon, if only to avoid such a showdown with Warner Bros.

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Apr 24, 2014 10:37 AM EDT

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