Benedict Cumberbatch Joins Andy Serkis’ ‘The Jungle Book’ As Shere Khan

By August 19, 2014

Idris Elba is providing the voice for the man-eating tiger Shere Khan in Jon Favreau’s take on The Jungle Book for Disney, but since there’s another version of The Jungle Book in the works at Warner Bros., Elba won’t be the only one associated with the villainous tiger in the years to come. THR reports that Benedict Cumberbatch will be voicing Shere Khan in the other version, which is being directed by Cumberbatch’s Hobbit co-star Andy Serkis.

Considering the Khan connection – Cumberbatch played the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness, despite reports to the contrary before the movie was released – this casting should turn into a cool bit of bar trivia in the next few years, but it’s also a great choice for the slinky, calm, cool, & collected tiger king. Cumberbatch has been showing his range on film for years in projects ranging from War Horse to “Sherlock” to 12 Years A Slave, and though he’s slowly become an international superstar, he’s finally beginning to dip his toe into the waters of voiceover work: He’s providing the voice for one of the animated characters in The Penguins of Madagascar, and he voiced Alan Rickman in an episode of “The Simpsons.”

THR refers to this role as a “voice lead,” so it’s unclear whether motion capture performances will be involved in Serkis’ Jungle Book: Origins. But considering the fact that he and his company pioneered the art form, I’m betting we’ll at least see a little bit when the final movie arrives.

Watch the full Comic-Con panel from DreamWorks animation below, which was Cumberbatch’s first time at the convention:

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.