Benedict Cumberbatch to star in "Jungle Book: Origins"
The first of three films based on an adaptation of the 1937 novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It will star Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug. Several actors from The Lord of the Rings will reprise their roles, including Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood & Orlando Bloom. Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) is swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug.
Benedict Cumberbatch is to voice the role of Shere Khan in 'Jungle Book: Origins'.
The 'Sherlock' star is to play the part of the evil tiger in the eagerly-awaited Warner Bros. production.
The film is to be directed by Andy Serkis, who starred in the 'Lord of the Rings' franchise, after scheduling commitments meant that Alejandro González Iñárritu was unable to assume the role.
The movie will be produced by 'Harry Potter' screenwriter Steve Kloves, while his daughter Callie Kloves is set to write the film.
'Jungle Book: Origins' is scheduled to be released on October 21, 2016.
Meanwhile, it was confirmed recently that Cumberbatch will reprise his role as Sherlock in the eponymous BBC series.
The hit detective drama, which also features Martin Freeman as Sherlock's sidekick, Watson, will return to BBC One in 2015.
The BBC said that the one-off episode, which is due to be filmed in January 2015, promises to be ''one of the biggest mysteries yet''.
The episode will be followed by a three-part fourth series of 'Sherlock', which will film later in the year.