This weekend, John Favreau’s highly anticipated film, The Jungle Book opens on 376 screens across the nation (last weekend, The Jungle Book opened on 69 screens overseas) and is expected to be number one at the box office by igniting feelings of nostalgia for viewers who grew up with the 1967 animated Disney classic.  ‘The Jungle Book’ is expected to take in around $67M to $76M over the next three days; however, box office estimates are already starting to climb because of the favorable reviews.

This adaptation of The Jungle Book is a live-action/CGI film that utilizes the voices of famous actors to portray the computer-generated animals onscreen.  CGI allowed for the entire film to be shot in a 12-story office building located in downtown Los Angeles.  Despite how realistic everything seems, nothing in this film is real with exception to the one human actor on screen, Neel Sethi, who portrays Mowgli.  More than likely, this film will be walking away with the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects as the on screen visuals are absolutely stunning.

Academy Award winner, Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), will portray the voice of Raksha, an Indian wolf who serves as the adoptive mother to man-cub Mowgli.  This film marks her first major voice-over role, and to prepare, she drew inspiration from her own mother.

“I have a lot of very, very powerful women in my life, my mother being the first and most important. She has a fierce love for her children.  For me, that spirit, that tenacity of mothering, was something that inspired my version of Raksha, because it takes a woman with one huge heart to take on not only a child that’s not hers, but of a completely different species.” – Lupita Nyong’o

In an interview with United Press International, she also discussed how her natural maternal instincts allowed her to create the necessary depth for the character.

“I asked myself a lot of questions about what it would be like to lose one of my own. Although I am not a mother myself, I do love children… so there is that part of me that is very much alive.” – Lupita Nyong’o

In addition to Nyong’o, this film includes an extraordinary cast including Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Ben Kingsley, Neel Sethi, Scarlett Johansson, and more.

Check out the clip below, and reconnect with a part of your childhood this weekend at a theater near you!



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The HBR Media Team is a collective group of black women filmmakers, writers, and studio/network executives who are passionate about bringing visibility to women of African descent working in film and television.

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