Sexy Benedict Cumberbatch to voice tiger in The Jungle Book: Origins

Aug 19, 2014 at 7:19 p.m. ET
Image: Daniel Deme/

Ladies love the quirky Benedict Cumberbatch — the Brit who's stealing all sorts of American movie roles these days. Warner Bros. just announced the actor will lend his voice to the character of Shere Khan, a Royal Bengal tiger, in the live-action film, The Jungle Book: Origins.

We all remember Disney's animated The Jungle Book, which came out in 1967. While the movie was incredibly popular with kids, the story didn't stick too closely to the book, which was written by Rudyard Kipling in 1894.

While the plot of The Jungle Book: Origins has not been made public, we do know that the live-action film will feature the Bengal tiger, Shere Khan, and will be voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Set in the Indian jungle, the main character, Mowgli, is a human boy raised by wolves with the help of a bear named Baloo and a black panther named Bagheera. The panther will be voiced by Christian Bale. The evil serpent Kaa will also be in the film and will be voiced by Kate Blanchett. Andy Serkis of Gollum fame, will direct.

In the first chapter of Kipling's book, Mowgli is forced to battle Shere Khan, the Bengal. We think Cumberbatch will provide the perfect voice for the trouble-making tiger, considering he's excellent at playing strong villains, like Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness. We just wonder if he'll be keeping his sexy British accent for the big cat.

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In a strange twist, Walt Disney Pictures is also currently planning a live-action version of The Jungle Book, with Jon Favreau as the director. This film will star Bill Murray as the voice of Baloo, Scarlett Johansson as the voice of Kaa the snake and Neel Sethi as Mowgli. Also lending their voices are Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o and Ben Kingsley.

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What's surprising about the The Jungle Book: Origins is that it will be released a full year after Favreau's The Jungle Book, which will be in theaters in October 2015. We suppose it's better that they don't overlap at the box office, but you'd think one Jungle Book movie would be enough for the decade. We guess not.

The Jungle Book: Origins will be released Oct. 21, 2016.