The BBC’s big Christmas Day movie will be the live action re-make of The Jungle Book.
The 2016 film, featuring the voices of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o and Scarlett Johansson, will be a welcome watch for any viewers suffering withdrawal symptoms after I’m a Celebrity….Get Me Out of Here! ends.
The new version of the classic story introduced Neel Sethi as man-cub Mowgli, with Elba as evil tiger Shere Khan, Murray as bear Baloo and Kingsley as panther Bagheera. A mixture of the 1967 animated Disney film and the novel by Rudyard Kipling, it will be screened in the afternoon of Christmas Day, following the Queen’s annual festive address to the nation.
One BBC insider said: “It’s going to be a big Christmas for Idris Elba on BBC1 – the new series of Luther is one of the season’s highlights plus he voices Shere Khan in The Jungle Book. It might be frosty outside but we’re hoping to bring a bit of the jungle’s warmth into people’s living rooms this Christmas.”
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There’s an animal theme to lots of BBC1’s festive film premieres. Also being screened for the first time on mainstream TV is Zootropolis, about a rabbit who achieves her ambition of becoming a tough cop in the big city, The Good Dinosaur, about a diplodocus who helps raise a boy, Kung Fu Panda 3, about a bear who is a martial arts expert and Ant-Man, a Marvel tale about a man who can shrink people to the size of an ant.
BBC2 also joins in by screening The Revenant, starring Leonardo di Caprio as a hunter in 1820s Arctic Alaska who is mauled by a huge grizzly bear.
Other family favourites being screened for the first time over Christmas and New Year include The BFG, Inside Out, Trolls and Absolutely Fabulous – The Movie.
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