The moment in "The Jungle Book" trailer that premiered at Disney's D23 Expo where Bill Murray-voiced Baloo starts singing "The Bare Necessities" caused attendees in the audience to clap and yell with glee.
Director Jon Favreau was similarly excited when he cast Murray in the role. Favreau reveals to Zap2it and a small group of journalists at Disney's D23 Expo that Murray inspired him immensely when he was still a developing comic.
"Bill Murray is a magical creature. When he agrees to do something or he shows up, you feel like a little kid watching one of his movies for the first time," Favreau says. "I grew up watching him. I moved to Chicago partially because of the legacy of the Chicago improv scene, and he was one of the pioneers in that area. Everything that I do now comes from a sense of humor that was formed around what he did. So to have him working with me is one of those pinch me, dream come true, wish fulfillment moments. Every time I see him I get excited."
Favreau also shares that Murray's "magical creature" status means the director has no clue when or where the actor will appear.
"He'll pop up in the strangest places," Favreau says. "We were recording down in New Orleans doing some music, and I mentioned offhanded during a recording session that we were going to be there, and he showed up. He popped into New Orleans, and it was wonderful. That's magical."
Murray is one of "Jungle Book's" impressive array of actors. The cast also includes Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken and Lupita Nyong'o, to name a few. Favreau praises his Mowgli, newcomer Neel Sethi, as being a "magical" find for the project.
"[Neel] came in off of an open call -- literally the 2000th person we saw audition -- and there he was on the big screen just embodying it and holding his own with these great actors like Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Chris Walken," Favreau says.
“The Jungle Book” is in theaters April 15, 2016.