As I’m sure you’re all aware, there are two competing versions of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book in development. One has Jon Favreau and the resources and abilities of Disney behind it, and the other has the motion capture spellcasting of Andy Serkis in the director’s chair. The former has the considerable voice acting talents of Christopher Walken, Ben Kingsley and Bill Murray, but the latter is collecting some impressive voice talent of its own. Trading one Khan for another, Benedict Cumberbatch has been hired to voice Shere Khan in Serkis’ Jungle Book.
The Hollywood Reporter announced Cumberbatch’s casting, he is the first to sign up for Serkis’ film Jungle Book: Origins. In the original Jungle Book stories Shere Khan kills the family of the child Mowgli, and when he tries to kill the boy he finds that Mowgli has been taken in under the protection of Father Wolf and his pack. Mowgli then dedicates himself to revenge, and nothing less than the skinning of Shere Khan will suffice. The 1967 animated Disney movie sanitized that story somewhat.
By hiring Cumberbatch it seems that Serkis is going more George Sanders (All About Eve) with the part, as opposed to Favreau, who’s hired Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) to give voice to his Shere Khan. Favreau’s also cast Murray (Baloo the Bear), Walken (Louise, King of the Apes), Kingsley (Bagheera the Panether), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa the Snake), Lupita Nyong’o (Raksha the Mother Wolf) and Giancarlo Esposito (Akela the Father Wolf).
So the gauntlet has definitely been thrown down for Serkis. Who will he hire next? Stay tuned.
Jungle Book: Origins is scheduled to arrive in theaters on October 21, 2016.
Source: Badass Digest