Cumberbatch and Dench in Richard III – To Be or Not to Be?


It seems as though Benedict Cumberbatch is adding casting director to his ever-growing list of CV accomplishments. According to the BBC, his initial efforts came at the conclusion of the Hay Festival in Powys this past weekend.

The star of Sherlock, and just about everything else on Planet Earth, seized his opportunity during Dame Dench’s appearance as she was being interviewed by TV and theatre director Richard Eyre. From his front row seat, Cumberbatch was called upon during a Q&A session with the audience and asked Dame Judi to star in a forthcoming adaptation of Richard III.
 
Benedict Cumberbatch and Dame Judi Dench on stage at the Hay Festival

Would you like to be in Richard III with me?” he asked. “Yeah,” Dame Judi replied after a theatrical pause, prompting cheers from the crowd. No ‘official’ confirmation of the pairing as of yet, but with filming set to begin later this year, I’m taking this to the bank and will continue to at least think for the time being that this is a possibility even though it was also recently rumored that Sophie Okonedo would play Queen Margaret opposite Cumberbatch’s Richard III. Okonedo received a Tony nomination for her role in A Raisin in the Sun currently on Broadway.

Richard III will be part of the BBC’s second series of Shakespeare’s History plays which comes from the same team as the award-winning Hollow Crown series that aired on PBS in the States this past year. Saying that he “…can’t wait to bring this complex, funny and dangerous character to life for the BBC“, this will not be Cumberbatch’s only foray into the world of Shakespeare over the next year. The Sherlock actor will also star in William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Hamlet at London’s Barbican Theatre in August of 2015.