Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) will add another iconic character to his collection of portrayals which already include Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Strange, Hamlet (National Theater Live: Hamlet), Khan (Star Trek Into Darkness), Smaug (The Hobbit trilogy), and Shere Khan (in Andy Serkis’ upcoming Jungle Book). On Wednesday at CinemaCon, Illumination chairman Christopher Meledandri announced that Cumberbatch will voice The Grinch in Illumination’s animated reboot of the Dr. Seuss classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The classic tale centers around the The Grinch attempting to ruin Christmas for the villagers of Whoville. Animator Pete Candeland (The Present) and Yarrow Cheney (production designer on Despicable Me 2) will helm in their feature film directorial debuts from a script adapted by Michael LeSieur (You, Me and Dupree). Meledandri, Janet Healy and Scott Mosier are producers. Audry Geisel and Chris Renaud will executive produce. Universal previously released a 2000 live-action version of the property starring Jim Carrey and directed by Ron Howard.
Cumberbatch well next star in Marvel’s highly anticipated Doctor Strange, set to open on November 16. The actor shot to fame in 2010 playing Sherlock Holmes on the British TV series Sherlock created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, and since then has kept busy in multiple films including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Oscar-nominated film War Horse, Oscar-nominated film 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County and Black Mass opposite Johnny Depp. He starred as the villain Khan in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness and was nominated for an Oscar for his starring role as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. He voiced the dragon Smaug in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, voice acted in DreamWorks’ Penguins of Madascar, and will be the voice of Shere Kahn on Andy Serkis’ Jungle Book, slated for release on October 19, 2017.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas will bow November 10, 2017.