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Bill Murray to voice Baloo in 'The Jungle Book'

By Breeanna Hare, CNN
updated 8:41 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
Bill Murray attends the Oscars in March 2014.
Bill Murray attends the Oscars in March 2014.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bill Murray cast as Baloo, according to reports
  • Directed by Jon Favreau, the movie will be live-action
  • The cast also features Christopher Walken, Lupita Nyong'o and Ben Kingsley

(CNN) -- Bill Murray is considered to be one of the most lovable and easy-going actors around, which makes him a perfect candidate to play "The Jungle Book's" happy-go-lucky bear, Baloo.

According to Deadline Hollywood, Murray has signed on to portray the gentle creature in Jon Favreau's live-action version of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book."

Originally released as an animated movie in 1967, the story tells the tale of an orphaned boy named Mowgli, who's raised in the Indian jungle by a pack of wolves. Along the way, he befriends a good-humored, groove-loving bear named Baloo, a panther named Bagheera and an orangutan named Louie.

So far, Favreau's "Jungle Book" has lined up an all-star cast. In addition to Murray, Christopher Walken has signed on to play the swinging King Louie, while Ben Kingsley will play Bagheera. Scarlett Johansson will play the python Kaa; Lupita Nyong'o will play Mowgli's wolf mother, Rakcha; and Giancarlo Esposito will play the leader of the wolf pack, Akela.

Newcomer Neel Sethi will portray Mowgli, whose animal friends urge him to escape the jungle and the wrath of the vicious tiger Shere Khan, portrayed in Favreau's movie by Idris Elba.

The live-action "Jungle Book" is slated for release on October 9, 2015.

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