Benedict Cumberbatch to Voice Shere Khan in 'Jungle Book: Origins'
While it seems like Disney's new live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book is ahead of the curve with a fall 2015 release date and a fully assembled cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley and Bill Murray, the competing adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's classic is marching onward. Earlier this month, the studio dated Jungle Book: Origins for release in October of 2016, and now they have their first cast member as THR reports Benedict Cumberbatch will voice the tiger Shere Khan, the man-eating villain of the film directed by Andy Serkis.
The question is whether or not general audiences will be interested in another adaptation of the familiar story about an orphan abandoned in the jungle and raised by wolves just one year later, especially with a title that makes it sounds like a prequel to Disney's version. Anyway, both Serkis and Cumberbatch have been doing their fair share of motion-capture work in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy as the former plays Gollum and the latter plays both the dragon Smaug and the physical incarnation of Sauron, so it's not hard to see how these two came together. But it's not clear just how different this telling of the story will be from Disney's version, but casting a talent like Cumberbatch is a good start. We can't wait to hear Mowgli yell "Khaaaaaan!" in this one. Stay tuned for more updates.