Jungle Book has found its Shere Khan. Benedict Cumberbatch has also guaranteed that a segment of the audience for Warner Bros. Jungle Book adaptation will be raising their little fists and yelling “Shere Khaaaaaaaaaaan” at the screen when the film makes its debut.
Wait, didn’t The Jungle Book already cast Idris Elba as Shere Khan? Note it’s not that The Jungle Book (notice the article at the beginning of the title) – that one already has a Shere Khan in actor Idris Elba. That’s Disney’s animated/one live character version of the film under director Jon Favreau.
Warner Bros. has got a real Deep Impact/Armageddon, Volcano/Dante’s Peak thing going here with their planned, competing take on the Rudyard Kipling classic from first-time director Andy Serkis. Shere Khan is the proud tiger in the story who hates raised-by-wolves human boy Mowgli (who’s not a fan of the tiger, either).
No word on what kind of format Jungle Book will take – while Disney’s will largely be animated, given Serkis’ background in performance capture, we have to assume that will factor into the film somehow. For the moment, The Hollywood Reporter is only saying Cumberbatch is doing voice work, but that doesn’t preclude a separate team of performance capture actors inhabiting the animal roles in the film.
This would be Cumberbatch’s second voice role following his take on the treasure hoarding dragon Smaug in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movies. (It’s worth noting that he also performed mo-cap as Smaug.) And despite furious speculation that the actor was being considered for a Dr. Strange role for Marvel, next up for the actor is the part of brilliant mathematician and computing pioneer Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. The actor is also up for an Emmy for his work on Sherlock‘s third season.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]