As we already documented (see video above), Benedict Cumberbatch is a huge admirer of his “Hobbit” co-star Andy Serkis – and now he's re-teaming up with the man behind Gollum for the latter's directorial debut.
The “Sherlock” star is set to voice villainous man-eating tiger Shere Khan in the upcoming Warner Bros. adaptation, which is based on Rudyard Kipling's classic stories, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film will be a mixture of live-action and performance capture, the latter of which Serkis has become famous for thanks to his work on Peter Jackson's Tolkien films and in Fox's “Planet of the Apes” reboots.
The Callie Kloves-scripted project is one of two “Jungle Book” films currently in development; Disney has a live-action/CGI version in the pipeline with Jon Favreau directing, Bill Murray (Baloo), Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Ben Kingsley (Bagheera), Christopher Walken (King Louie), Giancarlo Esposito (Akela), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa) and Lupita Nyong'o (Raksha) in voice roles and newcomer Neel Sethi as a live-action Mowgli. That film is slated for release on October 9, 2015, while Serkis's version – formally titled “Jungle Book: Origins” – is set to hit theaters a year later on October 21, 2016.
Currently up for an Emmy for his role on the BBC's “Sherlock,” Cumberbatch's upcoming credits include Alan Turing biopic “The Imitation Game” (November 21), Peter Jackson threequel “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” (December 17) and Scott Cooper's “Black Mass” opposite Johnny Depp and Joel Edgerton (September 18, 2015).
Are you looking forward to “The Jungle Book”? Let us know in the comments.