Benedict Cumberbatch is adding to his impressive list of voice roles by joining the cast of ‘Jungle Book: Origins’ to play the villainous tiger Shere Khan.

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch at the Brits

The film, which is set for release in October of 2016, is one of two Jungle Book films in production. Cumberbatch has joined Serkis’ crew – the Warner Bros. project, while Jon Favreau is taking on Disney’s version. 

And we’ve heard a lot more bout the Favreau/Disney adaption of Rudyard Kipling’s legendary book, probably because it’s coming out a year earlier in October 2015. Idris Elba plays the role of Khan in that film, while a cast including Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken is certainly going to draw the crowds. 

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But back to Cumberbatch: the British actor, who really hit his stride when portraying Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s modern adaption, has already played a menacing character named Khan – in Star Trek, for which he received critical acclaim. 

He also lent his considerable voice acting talents to the role of Smaug, the evil dragon in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, which is set to return this December and sees Cumberbatch reprise the role. This time, though, Smaugh is free from Eribor and set to cause the people of Middle Earth a touch of bother.  

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“I loved bringing him to life,” said Cumberbatch of portraying Smaug in an interview with Den of Geek. “My dad bought me the books when I was a kid. I auditioned for it, and I moved - much to the consternation of the casting director, Dan Hubbard - and when I met Peter Jackson, he said, “You’d be great as the voice of Smaug”. And I said, “Well, can I do the movement?”