Cumberbatch’s voice work will be contributed to Andy Serkis’ take on the famous tale, which is being produced for Warner Bros. Coincidentally, Jon Favreau is helming a competing “Jungle Book” project with Disney that has Cumberbatch’s fellow British television detective Idris Elba (“Luther”) voicing Shere Kahn.
“Jungle Book: Origins” will be Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, but it is not the first time he and Cumberbatch have worked together. Andy Serkis is the famous motion capture artist behind Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit,” where Cumberbatch did the motion capture work and leant his voice to the dragon Smaug.
Cumberbatch is the first lead announced for the Serkis project, while Favreau’s film is fully cast.
Both films are being adapted from Rudyard Kipling’s classic book about orphan boy Mowgli who is raised by jungle animals.