Today, Showtime Networks announced the pickup of the five-part limited series Melrose, starring and executive produced by Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, Sherlock). BAFTA Award nominee David Nicholls (Far From the Madding Crowd, One Day) is writing all five episodes of the television adaptation. Based on the acclaimed Patrick Melrose series of semi-autobiographical novels written by Edward St. Aubyn, Melrose hilariously skewers the upper class as it tracks the protagonist’s harrowing odyssey from a deeply traumatic childhood through adult substance abuse and, ultimately, toward recovery. A co-production between Showtime and Sky Atlantic, the limited series will begin shooting in New York, London and the South of France in August. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc.
In a tour de force role, Cumberbatch will play Melrose, an aristocratic and outrageously funny playboy who struggles to overcome the damage inflicted by a horribly abusive father and the mother who tacitly condoned the behavior. Asked in 2013 if he could play any literary character ever, Cumberbatch shared in a Reddit Q&A that it would be Patrick Melrose. The limited series will be a true television saga, both gripping and humorous from Nicholls’ adaptation, with a dramatic sweep that encompasses the South of France in the 1960s, New York in the 1980s and Britain in the early 2000’s. Melrose will devote one hour to each of the five novels, with each episode set over the course of a few intense days in the life of the protagonist.
“We are delighted to be part of this incredible series,” said Benedict Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland. “We have been huge fans of these books for many years and David Nicholls adaptations are extraordinary.”
Michael Jackson and Oscar nominee and Emmy and Golden Globe-winning producer Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball, Grey Gardens) also serve as executive producers. Jackson, the former Channel Four and IAC executive, recently formed the drama banner Two Cities Television. Melrose will be the company’s first production. Along with Cumberbatch, Adam Ackland will executive produce for SunnyMarch.
“I’ve been a huge admirer of Edward St Aubyn’s novels for years, and can’t wait to bring these dark, witty, brilliant books to the screen,” said David Nicholls. “Benedict is the perfect Patrick Melrose.”
Said Horovitz and Jackson, “Edward St. Aubyn’s book series is one of the great works of fiction of the last thirty years. It’s a privilege to bring them to television with the person who was born to play this remarkable, compelling character.”
Cumberbatch has been nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for his role as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock, winning the honor in 2014. He also received Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, British Independent Film Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations in 2015 for The Imitation Game. Cumberbatch’s other top roles include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County and Doctor Strange. In 2015, he played the title role in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” at the Barbican Theatre.
Benedict Cumberbatch is turning Ian McEwan’s “The Child in Time” into a TV movie for BBC One and Masterpiece.
The project comes from the “Sherlock” and “Dr. Strange” star’s SunnyMarch TV shingle, and is a co-production between Masterpiece for BBC One and Pinewood Television and SunnyMarch TV. Cumberbatch will executive produce and star in the 90-minute film, with Stephen Butchard adapting McEwan’s novel and Julian Farino directing. Studiocanal serves as distributor.
The film will explore the dark territory of a marriage devastated by the loss of a child: Cumberbatch will play children’s author Stephen Lewis, who must cope with the sudden loss of his daughter, Kate. Kate’s absence sets Stephen and his wife on diverging paths as both struggle with an all-consuming grief. With the passage of time, a balance of sorts returns, until hope surfaces and triumphs unexpectedly.
“I read the novel years ago and it stayed with me — profound, beautiful, and very moving,” Cumberbatch said. “Only Ian McEwan could write about loss with such telling honesty.” Cumberbatch had previously starred in the film adaptation of McEwan’s “Atonement,” which garnered seven Oscar nominations.
“Masterpiece has been proud to showcase Benedict’s work for many years, and of course ‘Sherlock’ has been a fantastic gift to our audience,” said Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton. “To co-produce the first television drama out of his shop, SunnyMarch TV, with Pinewood Television is very gratifying.”
“I’m thrilled to have my novel in the hands of such a high level creative team,” said McEwan. “I have fond memories of Benedict playing a brilliant and key part in the movie adaptation of ‘Atonement.’ Now, it’s a great honor to have this actor of such immense resource, experience and subtlety in the lead role of ‘The Child in Time.’”
“The Child In Time” was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning and Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, and will be produced by Pinewood Television and SunnyMarch TV and co-produced by Masterpiece for BBC One. Executive producers are Helen Gregory for Pinewood Television; Benedict Cumberbatch, Adam Ackland and David Boulter for SunnyMarch TV; Lucy Richer for the BBC; Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece; and Stephen Butchard. Masterpiece is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.
Benedict visited the Late Late Show with James Corden last night and he told a bedtime story. Watch it:
Last week, Benedict was on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, here are videos:
Happy Sunday, everyone! I’ve updated the gallery with all the Dr. Strange Premieres and Photocalls from all around the world. Thanks Lindsay from Rachel-McAdams.net.
October 26th | Dr. Strange Berlin Premiere
A new Dr. Strange Featurette instroduces the characters of the movies:
Here are Posters, Still, Behind Scenes and Promotional Images from Dr. Strange. The movie will be out on November 4th:
Hello everyone, here are the latest Dr. Stranger trailers, featurettes and tv spots, watch the playlist below.
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Benedict Cumberbatch is the cover feature of the November issue of Empire Magazine as Dr. Strange, and on the subscriber’s cover. Check it out below: