Benedict Cumberbatch to Voice Grinch in Illumination’s Animated Reboot

CinemaCon 2016: British actor will play the beloved Dr. Seuss character

Last Updated: April 13, 2016 @ 6:35 PM

“The Imitation Game” star Benedict Cumberbatch will voice the title role in a new animated version of “Dr. Seuss‘ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” Illumination Entertainment founder and CEO Chris Meledandri announced Wednesday at CinemaCon.

Pete Candeland and Yarrow Cheney are directing the new version of the popular holiday story from a script by Michael LeSieur. Universal is set to release the movie on Nov. 10, 2017.
Meledandri, Janet Healy and Scott Mosier will produce, while Audrey Geisel and Chris Renaud serve as executive producers.
The Illumination reboot is the latest onscreen incarnation of Dr. Seuss‘ 1957 children’s book about a skinny, green-furred curmudgeon who hates Christmas so much that he strives to prevent all the residents of nearby Whoville from enjoying it as well.
The story inspired Chuck Jones’ beloved 1966 half-hour animated TV special, which has become a holiday staple, as well as Ron Howard‘s 2000 live-action adaptation starring a heavily made-up Jim Carrey in the title role. (Rick Baker and Gail Rowell-Ryan won an Oscar for their makeup design.)
The movie grossed $260 million domestically.

Cumberbatch, who stars later this year in Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” has become a popular performer in animation and stop-motion work. He played the dragon Smaug in Peter Jackson‘s “The Hobbit” trilogy and the tiger Shere Khan in Andy Serkis‘ upcoming adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book,” due in 2018.

The actor is represented by UTA, Conway van Gelder Grant, and Robert Offer and Shelby Weiser.