Actor Benedict Cumberbatch handled his first Comic Con appearance very well as one of the panelists on his DreamWorks Animation movie “The Penguins of Madagascar.” Directors Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith and star/producer Tom McGrath were on hand to present footage from the movie, while stars John Malkovich and Cumberbatch took questions from moderator, Craig Ferguson, and from the fans in the panel Q & A.
Cumberbatch, who allowed the audience to ask ‘Sherlock” questions even after it was strictly forbidden by the panel’s Comic Con organizers, talked about his character, “Wolfie” in the DreamWorks animated movie. “No I can’t. It’s classified,” the actor initially teased when Ferguson asked him to talk about his character and his role in the movie. “He’s sort of all action Wolf basically. He heads up this team called the North Wind which looks after animal welfare wherever it needs looking after. He knows about this plot and he’s after Octavius Brine and succumbs the penguins to get as much information out of them as possible.”
On the penguins his character named “Classified” recruits, Cumberbatch said, “He kind of brings them into North Wind and tries to get information so he can take his team that sorts of just recruits them to get information so that he can take his team to do the professional work for them and he really underestimates what their capable of and overestimates what he’s capable of.”
The actor also joked about his training for playing a wolf in the animated film by explaining his training process for the movie. “You have to go undercover for a long time. I worked in Yellowstone Park as a wolf for a while,” he joked to the panel. “I was accepted by a band and things got a bit hairy, no pun intended, when I became the alpha male. About a month into it, I realized that two of the other wolves were Christian Bale and Daniel Day-Lewis. The hardest thing is getting un-wolfed. Going to the bathroom, that’s a new education. Eating habits are a bit awkward. Don’t put any kitties in front of me.”
On if he likes playing animated roles rather than the live action roles Cumberbatch says, “It’s very weird on that level because you are in isolation. I didn’t meet [co-star] John [Malkovich] until yesterday.”
On the character he plays, Malkovich said, “He’s an octopus who feels he had his life ruined in every zoo or Sea World or Aquatic Park where he lived because the penguins lived there. They were cute, people “oohed” and “ahhed” and he no longer got any attention.”
In “The Penguins of Madagascar,” the penguins are taken in a mission of global espionage. Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private now must join forces with the chic spy organization, the North Wind, led by Agent Classified to stop the cunning villain Dr. Octavius Brine from taking over the world.
The movie is set for a Thanksgiving release.