With an Oscar caliber performance just around the corner in which he plays Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch is more than just a household name. He’s a fixture. Not only has the star of Sherlock dominated the small screen with award-winning performances in both the BBC/PBS 21st century adaptation of the world’s most famous consulting detective and as a military officer in HBO’s Parade’s End, the big screen (The Hobbit, 12 Years a Slave, War Horse, Tinker Tailor, Star Trek Into Darkness), the stage (Frankenstein) and radio where, for the 70th anniversary of Normandy landings during World War II, he read the original radio bulletins from June 1944 for BBC Radio 4, he has three films coming out between now and the end of the year. Aside from The Imitation Game, Cumberbatch can be ‘seen’ in The Penguins of Madagascar and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
As we prepare for a 2015 that will see the actor play Hamlet at London’s Barbican Theatre in the summer and then cap off the year with a new set of Sherlock episodes beginning somewhere in the neighborhood of December 2015 on BBC1 and PBS, there are rumors of the actor being linked to Marvel’s next superhero Doctor Strange and upcoming Iraq war drama The Yellow Birds, in which he’ll play a troubled sergeant in command of two young soldiers played by Will Poulter and Tye Sheridan.
If you’ve somehow missed the last four years and can’t quite put a face to the name, Benedict Cumberbatch, Digital Spy has put together a brilliant A to Z Benedict Cumberbatch primer that is pretty much the definitive guide to all-things you must know if you are going to catch up to the rest of Planet Earth before 2015. Here are a several of my personal favorites…
G is for Ghostbusters
Cumberbatch has named Ivan Reitman’s beloved ghost-com as his favorite comfort movie. If Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters comes to fruition, maybe Cumberbatch could play the male equivalent of Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett?
Cumberbatch recently recreated Colin Firth’s iconic White Shirt In The Lake moment from Pride & Prejudice. The shot was in support of TK Maxx’s Give Up Clothes for Good campaign with Cancer Research UK, so this is basically a win-win: a very good thing that happened for a very good reason.
Steven Spielberg has famously called Cumberbatch’s mercurial modern-day sleuth “the best on-screen Sherlock Holmes”. That will remain a controversial point, but whether you agree with Spielberg or not it’s significant that after just three episodes, Cumberbatch’s Holmes was being discussed in the same breath as Jeremy Brett and Basil Rathbone’s definitive takes.
Despite Cumberbatch’s seemingly unstoppable upward trajectory, he’s made it clear that he has no intention of abandoning the BBC drama for Hollywood. “I’ll keep doing it as long as Sherlock grows,” he said recently. “As long as I feel like he’s developing and there’s stuff we’re all being challenged by, and that it’s being loyal to the original stories.”
Now, you’re not only ready to buy a ticket to see The Imitation Game, you’re a leg up on 2015 also! For a full Benedict Cumberbatch A-Z list, head over to Digital Spy.