Benedict Cumberbatch signs up to new Jungle Book adaptation

From Sherlock Holmes to Shere Khan: Benedict Cumberbatch has joined the cast of a live-action version of The Jungle Book.

Benedict, 38, will voice the villainous tiger in an upcoming Warner Bros production of the classic story, titled Jungle Book: Origins, which is being directed by Lord of the Rings star Andy Serkis.

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Benedict Cumberbatch has signed up to voice Shere Khan in Jungle Book: Origins

The film will hit cinemas in October 2016 – a year and a week after Disney releases its family-friendly version.

Jon Favreau has signed up to direct that production, which will star Scarlett Johansson as Kaa the snake, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Bill Murray as Baloo and Christopher Walken as King Louie.

Benedict has had a busy year; he has three films coming out in 2014 – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Imitation Game, in which he stars as Alan Turing, and Penguins of Madagascar.

And in 2015, fans can look forward to Benedict’s return as Sherlock. It has been confirmed that a full-length special episode will begin filming in January, with a series of three episodes to be filmed later in the year.

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Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as Sherlock Holmes next year

He might be best known for playing the beloved detective, but it’s for an entirely different role that Benedict recently made headlines.

An upcoming production of Hamlet at the Barbican, starring Benedict in the titular role, became the most in-demand theatre production of all time, according to ticket website Viagogo.

Even though the curtain doesn’t go up on the show for another year, tickets for Hamlet are outselling the next most popular show, the current run of A Streetcar Named Desire, by four to one.

The show also registered 214 per cent more ticket searches in the hours after the tickets were released than Beyonce and Jay Z’s On the Run tour.

Tickets went on sale on 11 August at 11am – and within minutes fans were tweeting their frustration at finding themselves more than 20,000 places back in the queue.