|“||I am the King of the Bandar-log. Call me Louie.||„|
|~ King Louie introducing himself to Mowgli|
|“||Just one thing we need to reach our full potential: Bring me that red flower and we will rule this jungle, I will protect you and you will want for nothing, ever again!||„|
|~ King Louie|
King Louie (or simply just Louie) is the secondary antagonist in the 2016 live action Disney film, The Jungle Book, a remake of the 1967 animated classic. He is a humongous Gigantopithecus who wants Mowgli, being a "Man", to get for him the "Red Flower", which is fire, so he can grow as powerful as man.
He first appears in his temple when several of his followers kidnapped Mowgli and brought him over. After a brief introduction, Louie offers Mowgli protection from the evil tiger named Shere Khan, and in return, he expects Mowgli to be his minion and build the red flower from fire, as part of a plan to take over the jungle. However, Mowgli doesn't know how to make fire, and Louie, who realizes that due to his protests, refuses to let Mowgli leave. Mowgli is saved by the arrival of Baloo who distracts the monkeys so that Mowgli can sneak away from Louie. Annoyed that Baloo entered his temple without his permission, Louie orders his monkeys to seize the bear and throw him off the cliffs. At that moment, he is alerted to Mowgli's attempt to flee. Together with Bagheera and Baloo, Mowgli manages to get to the inner courtyard of the temple which forces Louie to get up himself to prevent his captive from escaping. While Baloo and Bagheera fend of the hordes of Louie's monkeys, Louie himself climbs after Mowgli who has fled into another part of the temple. Louie later corners Mowgli, informing him that Shere Khan has killed Akela, and offers to spare him if he stays and serves him and his plans. However, Mowgli refuses and tries together with Baloo and Bagheera to escape once again.
Louie chases Mowgli though the temple, but in his effort to catch him he smashes the pillars holding up the roof of this temple-part. While Mowgli escapes by jumping through a slit in the wall, Louie seals his fate when he tries breaking through said wall - bringing down the entire roof right on top of himself, presumably killing Louie. The monkeys immediately start digging him out and while they do so, Mowgli and his friends escape the ruins.
During the credits, King Louie pops out of the rubble and starts his song again. As he sings, he accidentally knocks down another pillar that his minion monkeys just finishes rebuilding. However, this maybe only for the credits, as Shere Khan (who also died in the movie) is shown too, so King Louie's true status is unknown.
This incarnation of King Louie is far more sinister, villainous, and destructive than his cartoon counterpart; he initially presents himself as kind, suave, honest, gentle, polite, charming, agreeable, and delightful, but it is soon revealed he is impatient, ruthless, wicked, spiteful, ferocious, aggressive, belligerent, egocentric, conceited, and menacing within moments, especially when things don't go his way. Louie can also be quick to violence, as shown when he orders the monkeys to throw Baloo off a cliff, as well as cruel - such as when he somewhat tauntingly reveals to Mowgli that Shere Khan killed Akela.
- Because orangutans in real-life are not native to India, the decision was made to make King Louie a Gigantopithecus—even though the species has been extinct for at least 100,000 years or more.
- Unlike the original King Louie from the 1967 film, this iteration sings a slightly darker version of the classic song, "I Wanna Be Like You".
- King Louie is the third Disney character who was portrayed as a villain in the live action movie, the first was King Stefan and second was The Grand Duke. However, unlike the Grand Duke and King Stefan, the original King Louie was not a hero but rather a misguided individual whose antagonism is simply heightened in the remake rather than completely new.
- His defeat is similar to the Hydra's death, having been buried under rubble
- When in his lair, Mowgli summons Louie by ringing a cowbell, this is an obvious reference to Christopher Walken's famous cowbell short on SNL, in which he says the famous line "I got a fever, and the only perscription, is more cowbell.".