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Benedict Cumberbatch lending his voice to The Penguins Of Madagascar

The Penguins Of Madagascar - the feature length spin-off for the DreamWorks franchise's black-and-white scene-stealers - has landed some vocal talent in the form of Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich.

According to a report by The Wrap , “Malkovich will voice the film’s charming villain, while Cumberbatch will voice a high-ranking animal CIA agent hot on his trail.” There’s no word on what animal Cumberbatch will be voicing, although it couldn’t really be an otter, could it? The internet just wouldn’t be able to handle it.

It’s quite a score for the production, which will presumably put the starry line-up of the Madagascar movies - Ben Stiller, Chris Rock et al - onto the back-burner now that the focus is squarely on the penguins.

This won’t be the first solo outing for the flightless birds though, as they’ve also been in a Christmas-themed short and a TV series.

Cumberbatch’ll next be heard (and seen in motion-capture form) in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug , as both dragon Smaug and The Necromancer, and he’ll be seen in Julian Assange biopic The Fifth Estate , Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave and thesp-fest August: Osage County . Plus, there's the small matter of Sherlock series three on the the horizon...

The Penguins Of Madagascar is expected to open in the UK on 27 March 2015.