'Jungle Book: Origins' - Benedict Cumberbatch to voice Shere Khan

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Cumberbatch is the first casting announcement on Warner Bros' "Jungle Book: Origins"
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Cumberbatch is the first casting announcement on Warner Bros' "Jungle Book: Origins"

The Andy Serkis adaptation of "The Jungle Book," due from Warner Bros in 2016, will have "Sherlock" star Benedict Cumberbatch as its prowling tiger, Shere Khan.

As a cast member on "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," Cumberbatch is no stranger to generously budgeted blockbuster filmmaking, and "Jungle Book: Origins" will see him team up with "The Hobbit" second unit director Andy Serkis once again.

For Serkis, "Jungle Book: Origins" will mark his first full directorial debut, making good use of his experience with motion capture and computer generated imagery, with a release date of October 21, 2016.

By contrast, Disney's version of the Rudyard Kipling classic, named "The Jungle Book" and due October 9, 2015, has "The Wire" and "Pacific Rim" icon Idris Elba.

As one would expect for the more imminent production, a cast list for "The Jungle Book" is much more complete, with Mowgli -- newcomer Neel Sethi -- surrounded by the likes of Bill Murray as Baloo, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Lupita Nyong'o as Rakcha and Christopher Walken as King Louie.

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