Saturday, 30 August 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch set to join Andy Serkis' Jungle Book: Origins

Over the last few months we've had a virtual ark's worth of animal voice casting announcements for Jon Favreau's (Cowboys & Aliens) new live action and CGI blended take on Walt Disney Pictures The Jungle Book, yet heard very little about Andy Serkis' (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) competing project, Jungle Book: Origins for Warner Bros. That all changed recently when The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch (12 Years A Slave) has agreed to lend his distinctive vocal chords to the lethal tiger Shere Khan.

Coincidentally, this is not the first Khan that Benedict Cumberbatch has played, after he previously starred as the tiger's villainous namesake in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

So it looks like we have a Khan face off in the making! Idris Elba (Prometheus) with his 'apocalypse cancelling' gravelly goodness, and Cumberbatch with his Smaug-like caramel tones. As to who will make the best Shere Khan, only time will tell.

Serkis is currently developing the movie to incorporate a blend of live action and performance capture, looking to make his directorial debut based on Callie Kloves' script. Expect further casting announcements soon for characters including Mowgli, the orphaned boy raised by wolves, and other animals including the wise panther Bagheera and friendly Baloo the bear.

Favreau's film is set to arrive here on 6 October next year, while Serkis' adaption will land more than a year later on 21 October 2016.

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