When The Hobbit opened a few months ago, we all saw a dragon’s eye view of the fictional place called Lake Town. But we didn’t hear the dragon’s voice. Not yet.

Two years ago, my filmmaking friend Nathan Clarke, director of the surprising and hard-hitting documentary Wrestling for Jesus, pointed me to some aerial footage of another location — the very real city of Jerusalem.

It was, in fact, an unprecedented 7-minute aerial view of the city, captured for a documentary that will give moviegoers a chance to tour Jerusalem.

But no, we lacked a proper narrator for this sky-view tour as well. …

Now, at long last, Jerusalem is being readied for the screen. This 45-minute tour of the great city is a co-production of Cosmic Picture and Arcane Pictures, and it reportedly giving us “exclusive access” to “iconic holy sites and little-known parts of the region.”

Today, we learned about another collaborator on this project: Benedict Cumberbatch.

So, the actor known for playing Sherlock Holmes and the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness, the man who will give voice to Smaug the Dragon when we return to Middle Earth and Lake Town later this year… he’ll also be the voice of our Jerusalem tour.

And they promise that the movie will explore “some of the surprising intersections among Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which come together in this sacred city.”

Cumberbatch seems to be unique among rising stars in that he’s as popular for his voice as for his face and onscreen charm. I’d be hard-pressed to think of an actor under 40 whose voice is so immediately recognizable, and who uses it to such memorable effect.

If you were going to tour the great cities of the world with a recorded tour guide, what voice would you want in your headphones?

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