Benedict Cumberbatch Joins Andy Serkis' Jungle Book: Origins

He'll voice Shere Khan


We’ve had a virtual ark’s worth of animal voice casting announcements for Jon Favreau’s Disney-backed take on a new Jungle Book film, yet heard very little about Andy Serkis’ competing project, Jungle Book: Origins for Warner Bros. That all changed today when The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch has agreed to lend his distinctive voice box to lethal tiger Shere Khan. Well, he has form playing characters called Khan, we suppose.

So now we have a Khan-off in the making! In the red corner, there is Idris Elba’s apocalypse-cancelling gravelly goodness. In the blue? Cumberbatch’s Smaugy caramel tones. Who will make the best Shere Khan? Only time will tell, but you can weigh in below.

Serkis is 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 announcements soon about characters including Mowgli, the human raised by wolves and other animals who is Khan’s sworn enemy, wise panther Bagheera and friendly Baloo the bear.

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