Benedict Cumberbatch has (presumably) solved his last case as Sherlock. But now, the actor is getting ready to step into the shoes of another British literary figure. Cumberbatch will executive produce, and star, in Melrose, an adaptation of the Patrick Melrose novels. The five books were written by Edward St Aubyn from 1992 through 2011. They were then republished as a single volume in 2012. The books chronicle the life of a young man who inherits a fortune from his family.
The role is apparently a dream role for the Dr. Strange actor. Back in 2013, he was on board for a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) when one fan asked which fictional character he would most like to play. Benedict Cumberbatch responded with the name of Patrick Melrose, though he didn’t elaborate much on that.
Rich People Doing Bad Things
The five books by Edward St Aubyn – Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother’s Milk, and At Last – were based off the author’s own life.
The writer goes to great lengths in the depiction of a man born into a world of privilege, surrounded by money and social niceties. The character of Patrick Melrose succumbs to the accompanying pitfalls – decadence, greed, high-brow elitism. He falls into the worst of it too, struggling with substance abuse in a showcase of aristocracy failing.
It’s not the first time Cumberbatch has been approached such roles. Some of his previous characters – such as Sherlock, Dr. Strange, and even Alan Turing from The Imitation Game – all start off with a sense of superiority over the rest of society, due to talent and a perch on the ivory tower. So, seeing Benedict Cumberbatch perform in such a role that he’s wanted to play will make for great television.
A Juggling Act
As shared by Mashable, Benedict Cumberbatch’s production company SunnyMarch will be handling the TV special. It will be composed of five parts – one dedicated to each of the novels – and run for about an hour each. David Nicholls – whose credits include Far From The Maddening Crowd – will be in charge of adapting the screenplay. Starting August, the series will be shooting in New York, London, and southern France.
It will be a bit of a juggling act for Cumberbatch, who already has his hands quite full. Aside from Stephen Strange expected to appear in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, he’s playing Thomas Edison for The Current War. He’s also set to star in PBS’s The Child In Time.