Some days can pass by without a solitary mention or thought of the word ‘Khan,’ whether Kublai, Genghis or otherwise. But that’s not today, oh no.
Today we’ll be talking about two versions of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, both made using live-action techniques but by rival studios, and both using very familiar British actors to give haughty imperial steel to the voice of Shere Khan, the enemy of the man-cub Mowgli.
The Disney version, which builds upon its already impressive pedigree in this field—having cast haughty George Sanders in the role for the 1967 cartoon movie—has signed up Idris Elba as the scoundrel tiger. Jon Favreau is directing, and the movie is due out in October 2015.
Meanwhile Warner Bros. are working on their own version, Jungle Book: Origins, which will be the directorial debut of Andy Serkis, who has brought his Hobbit co-star buddy Benedict Cumberbatch in for tiger duty. That movie is slated for release in October 2016, so the two Khans are not exactly going head to head. Not that this will stop anyone (hello!) from conjecturing as to which of the two of them would do the better job.
Not that it would be fair to express a preference, but Benedict does have some experience as a Khan, having
turned out to be Captain Kirk’s arch-nemesis played a character with an entirely non-spoilery relationship to that name, in Star Trek Into Darkness.
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