Warner Bros. Pictures is moving ahead with its Andy Serkis-directed The Jungle Book: Origins and has cast its first voice lead - Benedict Cumberbatch will voice the tiger Shere Khan.
The October 21, 2016 release is based on Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book." The film tells the story of Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves. He's kidnapped by monkeys and rescued by his animal friends, including Baloo the Bear, Bagheera the panther and Kaa the python.
The film will arrive more than a year after Disney's The Jungle Book (October 9, 2015), directed by Jon Favreau. In that version, Shere Khan is voiced by Idris Elba. Mowgli is played by newcomer Neel Sethi and Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito are providing voices as well.
Cumberbatch coincidentally played another Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness. He's also provided his voice for "The Hobbit" trilogy and the upcoming Penguins of Madagascar.
Callie Kloves wrote the script for the Warner Bros. film. Her father, Steve Kloves ("Harry Potter" films), is producing.