Benedict Cumberbatch’s march in Hollywood is continuing apace with another high-profile casting, this time as The Grinch in a new animated adaptation of Dr Seuss’s children’s classic ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas!’

The news was announced by Illumination Entertainment, the animation studio responsible for Despicable Me and Minions, via Vanity Fair on Thursday (April 14th). The finished film, featuring what is bound to be referred to as ‘The Cumbergrinch’, is expected to be released in November 2017.

The 39 year old ‘Sherlock’ star follows in the footsteps of Jim Carrey, who played the green villain in the 2000 live action version of the story The Grinch, and Boris Karloff, who voiced the character in the 1966 animated adaptation.

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch filming 'Doctor Strange'

The plot of the 1957 children’s book concerns a bad-tempered character who lives in a cave, and steals all the presents and decorations of a family who live near him at Christmas time. However, he becomes good when he realises that his actions haven’t stopped the family from indulging in the festive spirit.

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“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,” Illumination Entertainment’s CEO Chris Meledandri told delegates at CinemaCon in Las Vegas when they first announced the news.

“It is that vulnerability that allows us to create a character that is not only highly entertaining, but also has an irresistible appeal.”

Cumberbatch has already landed the sought-after role of Doctor Strange, and has appeared in the first trailer for the Marvel comic book epic which will be released later this year. He’ll also be the voice of the tiger Shere Khan in Andy Serkis’s version of The Jungle Book for Warner Bros in 2018 – the Disney version of which is out this weekend.

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