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Benedict Cumberbatch joins cast of 'Jungle Book: Origins'

The movie is scheduled for release in October 2016, a year after Disney's rival live-action adaptation.

By Annie Martin
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Benedict Cumberbatch joins cast of 'Jungle Book: Origins'
Cast member Benedict Cumberbatch attends the premiere of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" at TCL Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on December 2, 2013. Storyline: After successfully crossing over (and under) the Misty Mountains, Thorin and Company must seek aid from a powerful stranger before taking on the dangers of Mirkwood Forest--without their Wizard. If they reach the human settlement of Lake-town it will be time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and burglar Baggins must seek out the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug. And, where has Gandalf got off to? And what is his secret business to the south? UPI/Jim Ruymen | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Benedict Cumberbatch has joined the cast of The Jungle Book: Origins.

The 38-year-old actor will voice the villainous Shere Khan in the live-action adaptation. Shere Khan is a Royal Bengal tiger and protagonist Mowgli's sworn enemy in the original Rudyard Kipling story collection.

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The film is in development at Warner Bros., and is scheduled for release a year after Disney's rival live-action Jungle Book movie. Callie Kloves penned the script, and the feature will mark motion-capture actor Andy Serkis' directorial debut. Jon Favreau is directing Disney's version, with Idris Elba attached as the voice of Shere Khan.

Cumberbatch will appear as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, and will voice Classified in Penguins of Madagascar and Smaug/the Necromancer in The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies later this year. The Jungle Book: Origins is scheduled for release October 21, 2016.

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