During CinemaCon Universal Pictures announced they’re making a brand-new How the Grinch Stole Christmas film via Illumination Entertainment with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the villainous Grinch.

The well-known and well-loved Dr. Seuss tale has been through three adaptations, with the first done in 1966 (voiced by Boris Karloff) and widely-regarded as the best. The last adaptation by Ron Howard in 2000 was live-action with Jim Carrey in the lead role. It achieved only mild success and was generally considered a disappointment.


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Apparently reading his own film reviews.


Luckily for us, Illumination has gone back to animation with this one using arguably one of the most well-known voices in film since James Earl Jones. Likely his most notable voicework was done in The Hobbit as Smaug, the despotic, murderous dragon who had seized Erebor from the dwarves of Durin’s line in Middle Earth. While director Peter Jackson had only intended for him to solely lend his voice, Cumberbatch insisted on doing motion capture for the role, and the result was epic.


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Cumbersmaug in action.


Cumberbatch recently wrapped filming on Doctor Strange for Marvel Studios and has now returned to one of his most recognizable roles as Sherlock Holmes for the fourth season of BBC’s Sherlock. Additionally, Cumberbatch lent his voice to Magik due out later this year, and more notably, Jungle Book (directed by fellow Hobbit alum Andy Serkis) as Shere Khan, which is set to hit theaters October 19, 2018.

According to ScreenCrush, the upcoming How the Grinch Stole Christmas will be directed by Pete Candeland, an animator who previously worked on Tank Girl and The Wind in the Willows. Also directing is Yarrow Cheney who served as production designer on both Despicable Me films as well as another Dr. Seuss adaptation: The Lorax.

Catch How the Grinch Stole Christmas in theaters November 17, 2017.


Images via Universal Pictures, New Line Cinema, BBC