Forget about "the eye of the tiger." Actor Benedict Cumberbatch has the voice of the tiger. The Sherlock Holmes star will lend his golden tones to the villainous Shere Khan in a new Warner Bros. movie version of Rudyard Kipling’s classic The Jungle Book.
The classically trained Cumberbatch is a man of many (animal) voices: he plays a wolf in a Penguins of Madagascar spin-off to be released in November and returns as the dragon Smaug in another Hobbit film due out in December. Titled Jungle Book: Origins, the movie is the directorial debut of Andy Serkis, a.k.a. Gollum and Cumberbatch’s Hobbit castmate.
Turns out Cumberbatch isn’t the only British star with golden pipes to get his roar on as Shere Kahn: English character actor George Sanders played the jungle baddie in the original Disney movie in 1967 and Idris Elba will voice the character in a new Disney version, directed by Jon Favreau. Cumberbatch and Serkis’ may have a little “Jungle” warfare at the box office: while there movie is set for release in October 2016, the Disney version which also features the voices of Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken and Ben Kingsley is scheduled to hit theaters a year earlier.