Benedict Cumberbatch will voice grumpy anti-Christmas villain "The Grinch" in an upcoming animated movie.
Chris Meledandri, the chief executive of the Illumination Entertainment production company, revealed the Sherlock actor would voice the famous Dr. Seuss character for a new animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which is scheduled for release in November, 2017.
Chris explained why the British actor was cast in the role during the Universal Studios CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas on Wednesday, saying, "Choosing the actor to voice "The Grinch", we were determined to make a choice that would not only define this version of "The Grinch" as absolutely singular, but most importantly, we were looking for a voice to express comedic wickedness while embodying vulnerability...
"It is that vulnerability that allows us to create a character that is not only highly entertaining, but also has an irresistible appeal."
Benedict has portrayed a number of famous characters onscreen, including "Sherlock Holmes", real-life whistleblower Julian Assange, "Star Trek" villain Khan and real-life codebreaker Alan Turing. This week, the teaser trailer showing him playing well-known Marvel comic book hero Doctor Strange made its debut.
"The Grinch" was most famously played by Jim Carrey in the 2000 live-action comedy, which was directed by Ron Howard. The comedian spent eight-and-a-half hours each day in make-up to play the green villain, and he scored a Golden Globe nomination for the part.
"The Grinch" was first adapted from the 1957 novel for an animated TV special in 1966, and has since appeared in several other TV films and series.
During the Illumination Entertainment section of the presentation, Chris also announced South Park co-creator Trey Parker would voice villain, Balthazar Bratt, in "Despicable Me 3". Steve Carell will return as lead character Gru, but take on another role as Gru's twin brother Dru in the next instalment, set for release in June, 2017.
Gru's minions will also appeared in a new animated short Mower Minions, which will be screened in cinemas before The Secret Life of Pets, which will be released in the U.K. on June 24 and U.S. on July 8.