A major hit over the recent holiday season was Illumination’s animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The movie from the studio most known for its Despicable Me franchise was a major success as its $500+ million managed to finally knock Home Alone off the top spot to be proclaimed as the highest-grossing Christmas movie of all-time. The Grinch‘s charming, funny festive tale was probably the main draw, but it can’t have hurt that it had a big name as its lead voice in the form of the one and only Benedict Cumberbatch.
On previous occasions, the Grinch had been played by horror icon Boris Karloff and comedy legend Jim Carrey, so clearly there’s no one type of actor who can portray the green grouch. With that in mind, why did the filmmakers go for Cumberbatch for their take on the classic children’s story? Well, co-director Scott Mozier – who helmed the movie with Yarrow Cheney – explained to CinemaBlend that the Doctor Strange star was top choice for the part because of his incredible range – and for proving he could be hilariously rude on Sherlock.
“We had a list of people, but it’s strangely like, I don’t even remember a lot of the names. It was pretty unanimous and quick that Benedict rose to the surface. It wasn’t a long process. We kind of did a list and his name is on there and everybody was like, ‘Yeah, that feels right.’ We knew we wanted to go into his backstory and sort of go more in depth into his character emotionally.
And we’re like, you know, like he’s funny, he can be rude and enjoyable in Sherlock. You know, he’s just an incredible performer, and like I said, it happened really quickly. It was like, the name came up and then that was kind of it, and we all sort of jumped at it and it just kinda made sense.”
The Grinch was, of course, just one of many blockbusters the British star has been involved with in the last few years. As impressive as the festive film’s worldwide gross was, it doesn’t come close to matching the might of Avengers: Infinity War‘s $2 billion, in which Cumberbatch played Sorcerer Supreme Stephen Strange. The character’s currently dead, but we’re pretty sure we’ll see him again in this April’s Avengers: Endgame.
Benedict Cumberbatch was also recently seen in TV film Brexit: The Uncivil War and as the voice of Shere Khan in Netflix’s Mowgli. The Grinch, meanwhile, is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray and is well worth checking out, as it provides another enjoyable take on the classic tale.