Hollywood is a vast ecosystem with lots of different niches. Some actors *cough, Jessica Biel, cough* stay confined to one niche their entire careers, always showing up in the same role, like “subordinate action character with great ass.” These kinds of actors don’t always choose to be typecast, of course. It’s just that some of them possess the same range of emotion as a shoelace, so they don’t have the chops to navigate different territory. Other times, performers in this phylum do have skill, but like Kate Hudson, they’ve decided they’re cool with only doing movies about finding a man and cute shoes.
On the flip side of this are the chameleon character actors. The John Malkoviches and Benedict Cumberbatches. These highly adaptable creatures deftly weave in out of different genres with the stealth of a lynx. They often pop up where you’d least expect them, only to steal the show (See: Phillip Seymore Hoffman in basically everything he’s done). What’s even crazier is, they’ve usually altered their physical appearance and mannerisms so much from their last movie, that it’s not until about 3/4th through a film that you even recognize them. They can seamlessly go from playing a deranged villain in one film, to a righteous adorable penguin in the next–and that’s why the producers of the upcoming Penguins of Madagascar have nabbed the ridiculously talented Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich for their film!
In a casting coup, DreamWorks Animation has set Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich to voice new characters in its spin-off “The Penguins of Madagascar,” TheWrap has learned.
The animated movie, which features the penguins from DWA’s “Madagascar” franchise, is scheduled for release on March 27, 2015.
An individual familiar with the project tells TheWrap that Malkovich will voice the film’s charming villain, while Cumberbatch will voice a high-ranking animal CIA agent hot on his trail.
I can’t even express how happy this makes me. These two are some of the greatest actors of all time (as determined by a very scientific rubric I’ve come up with), and the thought of them together as ANIMATED ANIMALS is just too much. The only thing that would make this better would be to throw Gary Oldman into that casting love-fest, and if they do that to me, it might engorge my heart so much that I experience shortness of breath and numbness in my left arm, so let’s not even contemplate it. I’m just pleased to see that two acclaimed dramatic actors who are capable of tapping into such cavernous emotional depths are applying their gifts to light-hearted fare. Because really, how many John Malkovich movies can you show a 5-year old?
I think all audiences—even those who can’t go to the bathroom by themselves yet—should be able to behold the brilliance of Malkovich, and this a medium that will allow that to happen in a way that won’t haunt a toddler’s dreams. I’m glad John is reprising the role of unhinged bad guy, because let’s face it: that’s what this guy’s genetic makeup was expressly designed for. I’m sure he’s a perfectly stable and well-adjusted human being in real life, but he’s got a face that I’m definitely going to show my kids one day when I describe the reasons for not talking to strangers. As for Benny, he’s been on a roll lately. His performance as calculating Khan in Star Wars was utter perfection (although leaving out Khan’s boob sweater was a travesty in my opinion). I basically want this enigmatic, sexy alien man to be in every movie I watch—and he’s pretty much going to be! According to his IMDB page, he has 10 movies coming up!
I’ll probably see most of those films, including this one, even though I’m not that into animated movies. I know, I know, cue the incredulous shock. I should have a doctor check for my heart. But the voices in those films are usually so shrill and grating! The stories might be smart and endearing, but ugh, I just want to bury my head in a pillow and take an Advil. Luckily, Benny has the honeyed voice of a British angel, so I think I’ll make it through this penguin flick. Have I officially become a Cumberbitch with that last sentence? Eh, I’m not even ashamed.