He stars in the BBC adaptation of Sherlock Holmes (Hated the fourth season, by the way, frantic and incoherent) and is the screen incarnation of Stephen Strange. We first noticed him as the villain (Not Briony Tallis) in the film of Ian McEwan’s Atonement. He was Peter Guillam in the 2011 version of John Le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Christopher Tietjens in the miniseries based on Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End (teleplay by Tom Stoppard). He was the voice of Smaug in the Hobbit movies, Hamlet onstage, and a mesmerizing Richard III in The Hollow Crown. Benedict Cumberbatch is Literary Adaptation Guy, sort of a male equivalent of Helena Bonham-Carter.
Last year he announced that he would produce and star in an adaptation of Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male
our favorite spy adventure thriller featuring a cat as a major character.
Earlier this year it was announced that he would star in the BBC adaptation of what may be Ian McEwan’s finest novel, The Child in Time.
Patrick Melrose, there’s a character to push an actor to their limits. (When I first saw the headline I thought they meant a reboot of Melrose Place haha.) Abused by his domineering father, left alone by his wealthy, passive-aggressive mother, he goes through all the self-loathing, addiction and bad behavior money can buy. It’s a harrowing, oddly hilarious read and I can’t wait to pick it up again.
What other literary adaptations can Cumberbatch star in? Denis Villeneuve (Arrival!) is adapting my favorite SF novel Dune, and while it will almost certainly not be as gorgeously bonkers as the movie Alejandro Jodorowsky never got to do, I expect great things of the project. Cumberbatch is too old to play Paul Atreides, but maybe Duncan Idaho? Thufir Hawat? Hasimir Fenring?