DreamWorks Animation might take it as a good sign that the mere sound of Benedict Cumberbatch‘s voice — and the vision of him in character as an animated wolf in Penguins Of Madagascar – elicited screams in Hall H this morning at Comic-Con. Cumberbatch, who’s making his first stop at the San Diego fan convention this year, also stars in Comic-Con fave Sherlock and Peter Jackson’s upcoming The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. Not that distracting Sherlock chatter was welcome at the DWA panel: “Any questions about Sherlock, and Comic-Con is CANCELLED,” joked moderator Craig Ferguson.
Cumberbatch stars in Penguins as Classified, the leader of secret animal agent operation The North Wind who teams with Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private to stop new villain Dr. Octavius Brine. John Malkovich stars as Brine and also made his maiden voyage to San Diego Comic-Con for the panel. “This your first Comic-Con? You’ll fit right in,” Ferguson quipped to Malkovich. Studio pushed the Madagascar spin-off hard, unveiling 20 minutes of footage from the November 26 release.
There is also speculation and hotfire rumors that Cumberbatch will be announced to star in Doctor Strange, Marvel’s franchise-launching film that will be directed by Scott Derrickson and penned by Jon Spaihts. Cumberbatch has been deflecting questions left and right — maybe more clarity is to come at the Marvel presentation Saturday?
The morning panel and Cumberbatch draw was also a prime opportunity for DWA to introduce footage from animated feature Home, which features the voices of Rihanna and Jim Parsons. Pic, about an alien race that invades Earth where one misfit befriends a human girl, is based on Adam Rex’s 2007 children’s book The True Meaning Of Smekday. Ferguson also dutifully introduced a Penguins Of Madagascar app that con-goers can download to keep Penguins branding in their minds through the next few panel-packed days, and unveiled a logo for upcoming pic B.O.O.: Bureau Of Otherworldly Operations starring Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray.