Irrfan Khan is happy to lend his voice to the friendly bear Baloo of "The Jungle Book" in the Hindi dubbed version of the Hollywood film, and says being a part of the "global franchise" brings an end to his wait for an association with a children's film.
Disney India has roped in Irrfan to replace the voice of Bill Murray from the international version. Along with Irrfan, Priyanka Chopra, Nana Patekar, Shefali Shah and Om Puri will also lend voice to characters for the Hindi dubbed version of the Hollywood film, which stars Indian - American actor Neel Sethi as Mowgli, and will be releasing in India on April 8 - - a week ahead of its release in the US.
"The global franchise gives me a great opportunity to be a part of children's film which I have been wanting for a long time. And yes, I couldn't be happier to dub for Baloo, and more than me my younger one's grin for Baloo made it worth while, " Irrfan told IANS in a statement.
Helmed by "Iron Man" fame director Jon Favreau, the film brings a story straight from the enchanting forests of India and presents a modern take on Rudyard Kipling's timeless classic, originally published in 1894.
Irrfan, known for his versatile roles in "Piku" as well as on foreign shores with films like "Life of Pi" and "The Amazing Spider - Man", says the film will be like a walk back in time for him.
He said: "'The Jungle Book' travels back to childhood knocking doors of memories when one had talking animal friends in imagination, jungle book is old and still relatable, talking about the eternal attraction bond and conflict between man and jungledom. "
He will start dubbing for the film this week.