We recently saw Benedict Cumberbatch in action as Doctor Strange in the first trailer for the upcoming Marvel movie of the same name, and now comes word that the actor is set to voice a new take on a famous holiday season character.
During Despicable Me and Minions studio Illumination Entertainment’s presentation at CinemaCon today, they revealed that Cumberbatch will be playing none other than the Grinch himself in a new animated take on the Dr. Seuss classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The new Grinch is set to be directed by Peter Candeland, and the movie is currently scheduled to be released by Universal Pictures on November 10, 2017. Candeland makes his feature directorial debut on the movie, having previously worked mostly as an animator on titles like the Aladdin TV series, Tank Girl, Balto, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. His only previous directing credits are music animated music videos for the virtual band Gorillaz, and the cinematic intro for Harmonix’s The Beatles: Rock Band.
Illumination Entertainment founder and CEO Chris Meledandri made the CinemaCon presentation, and talked to Deadline about their take on the Grinch:
“What we’ve set out to do with this telling of the Grinch is make it both modern and traditional at the same time. When I say that I mean from a traditional standpoint, we’ve really tried to go back to what we perceive as the essence of what Ted Geisel was communicating. What I love about his work is that at the center of it, of all of his stories, are very, very simple and universal ideas. The last telling of the Grinch focused a little bit more on the commercialization of Christmas and how the commercialization of Christmas can lead us down the wrong path.
For me, in reading what Geisel wrote, I view it more from a character perspective. I think that the essence of this film is the notion of this cynicism comedically expressed in the Grinch and this absolute innocence represented in Cindy Lou, on a collision course with one another through the course of this movie. It’s the simple question of whether or not innocence can transform cynicism. The beauty of that simplicity for me is what’s at the heart of the movie. In the experience of the movie I love the sort of wicked comedic aspect of this character the Grinch and I think that what you’ll see is from the very, very early animation tests, very raw, you’ll see that there’s an undeniable appeal in the character in spite of that kind of wicked persona, and I find that very, very, appealing and attractive.”
This is the third Dr. Seuss project Meledandri has been involved with, having worked on Horton Hears a Who back in 2008 while at Fox Animation and The Lorax in 2012 through Illumination.