The book "The Tiger Who Came to Tea" is being turned into a Christmas TV special, and some big stars will lend their voices to the adaptation.
The voice cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch, David Oyelowo, Tamsin Greig, David Walliams, and Paul Whitehouse, Deadline reports. The animated special comes from Lupus Films and will air on the U.K.'s Channel 4 during the 2019 Christmas season. It is directed by Robin Shaw and will be a half hour long.
"The Tiger Who Came to Tea" is written and illustrated by the late Judith Kerr, and it was published in 1968. It tells the story of an unusual teatime visit. A tiger arrives and joins a little girl named Sophie and her mother for tea, eats and drinks everything, and then leaves before her father arrives.
Cumberbatch will voice Sophie's father. He was previously nominated for an Emmy for the limited series "Patrick Melrose" and recently starred in "Avengers: Endgame." He's joined in "The Tiger Who Came to Tea" by Greig ("Official Secrets") as the voice of Sophie's mother, while Sophie herself will be voiced by a young actress named Clara Ross. Oyelowo ("Selma") has been cast as the tiger and Whitehouse ("King of Thieves") is the milkman. Walliams ("Little Britain") will serve as the narrator.
Cumberbatch celebrated the project, saying that he "couldn't be more thrilled to be playing a small part in bringing Judith Kerr's timeless children's classic to the screen for another generation to enjoy." Oyelowo also shared his enthusiasm, joking that "all the growling, comping and slurping" got him to find his "inner cat."
"The Tiger Who Came to Tea" is produced by Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding of Lupus Films as well as HarperCollins Children's Books' Ann-Janine Murtagh, Katie Fulford, and Mia Jupp.