Benedict Cumberbatch to Star in Showtime Limited Series Melrose

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Benedict Cumberbatch to Star in Showtime Limited Series <i>Melrose</i>

Everyone’s favorite witty, broody Brit Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) is set to star in and produce the limited series Melrose.

The five-part series will be written by BAFTA Award-nominee David Nicholls (Far From The Madding Crowd). Melrose is based on the critically acclaimed and semi-autobiographical Patrick Melrose series of novels, written by Edward St. Aubyn. According to a press release, “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.” Pretty dark stuff to be called hilarious, but apparently Melrose contains multitudes.

This is a role that Cumberbatch has wanted for a while. In a 2013 Reddit Q&A, he said if he could play any literary character, he would want to play Patrick Melrose. Melrose is “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,” which sounds right up Cumberbatch’s alley. If there’s one role we know he can play well, it’s the hilarious-yet-troubled character. A few snide comments, a bit of dark sarcasm and a furrowed brow, and we get Cumberbatch in his prime. In a joint statement with Adam Ackland accompanying the announcement, the actor said, “We are delighted to be part of this incredible series. We have been huge fans of these books for many years and David Nicholls adaptations are extraordinary.”

The series is a co-production between Showtime and Sky Atlantic. It will begin filming in New York, London and the south of France this August. Each of the five episodes will be an hour long, covering one of St. Aubyn’s novels and following the protagonist through a few dramatic days over the course of his life. The release date is still TBD, but stay tuned to Paste for more details as they come out.

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