Famed British actor Benedict Cumberbatch has been tapped to voice the Grinch in an animated remake of Dr. Seuss’ classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, set to be released later next year.
The last remake of the Grinch was met with mixed critical reviews and has failed to generate year-after-year loyalty viewing of the original made-for-television animated special. Producers of the new version hope to avoid disappointing fans.
““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.” producer Chris Meledandri said. “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.”
Like the 2000 remake directed by Ron Howard and featuring Jim Carrey, this new animated version will be a full length feature film.
That has some skeptical, especially with Meledrandri saying things like “We look forward to a global Christmas celebration with a movie that is both modern and classic”, which is code for Hollywood’s watered-down emphasis on the moral of the story replaced with something else. Don’t forget, this is the same production company that brought about the heavy handed moralizing of Lorax, an off-putting production based on a Seuss tale that some feel ended up being more of a message vehicle for the Earth First crowd.
Cumberbatch, however, is an inspired casting choice and should excel in the role. His voice is instantly recognizable to millions of fans who likely have never seen the 1966 original Grinch voiced by Boris Karloff.