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Benedict Cumberbatch

  1.  Charlie Hunnam, The Lost City of Z, 2006.  
  2. Naturally, director James Gray was going to make his first non-New York subject with co-producer Brad Pitt as his hero - the real life Colonel Percival Fawcett, a UK explorer who disappeared the Amazon region in the 20s while searching for the mystery city. “We both came to the conclusion that it should be an English person,” Gray told Village Voice critic Bilge Ebiri.  “They were interested in Benedict Cumberbatch.   I didn’t know [his] work at all. I’m a loser, I’m a Luddite, I don't watch TV or go on social media or anything. He wanted to do it. He was a very interesting-looking guy and he had this great, very deep voice. We were all set to go, and then his wife got pregnant, and she very reasonably did not want to give birth in the middle of the jungle shoot… Again I said, ‘That movie's never going to happen.” It did. Eventually. With, ironically, another UK TV star.
  3. James D’Arcy, WE, 2010.   “Cumberbatch,” he laughs, “it sounds like a fart in a bath, doesn't it? What a fluffy old name.”Looking for her Edward VIII (aka The Duke of Windsor), director Madonna invited Cumberbatch for a meeting at her London house.It was more like a screentest… “I’d whizzed round on my bike and thought we were going to have a read-through and a chat, but she wanted a full-on dress rehearsal... So I ended up in a suit and tie with Madonna operating the camera herself.”
  4. Jude Law, Anna Karenina, 2011.   Change of Alexei Karenin in the 25th screen version of Chekov - adapted here by playwright Tom Stoppard for director Joe Wright. The female fans of Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes called themselves… Cumberbitches.
  5. Ben Whishaw,Cloud Atlas, US-Germany-Hong Kong-Singapore, 2012.     Auditioned for five roles for the three directors: the German Tom Tykwer and(biting off more than they could really chew, as per usual) the Wachowski siblings: Andy and Lana (ex-Larry). Tom Hanks called them Mom and Dad because they worked so well together and as leaders of the actors and technicians.
  6. Tom Hiddleston, Crimson Peak, 2013.    By now, Cumberbatch was about the busiest actor on the planet: Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years A Slave, August: Osage Country,The Fifth Estate,The Hobbit II and III, The Imitation, plus more of TV’s Sherlock, a short called Little Favour,and voicing The Penguins of Madagascar and Magik! Something had to give… and this haunted housenumber was it.Mexican director Guillermo del Toro ran to Hiddleston, forever known as villain of The Avengers… as if he’d never made Woody Allen’sMidnightIn Paris orand Steven Spielberg’s War Horse.  
  7. Simon Pegg, Absolutely Anything, 2014.    Cumberbatch and Gemma Arterton churned into  Pegg and Kate Beckinsale  in  Robin Williams’ final film work. (He voiced the dog Dennis). Beckinsale’s mother daughter,  Lily Mo, were also in the toon.  The ETs were voiced by  the Pythons: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle  Michael Pailn  and (director) Terry Jones. 
  8. Sean Harris, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, 2014.     Offered the villain - while doing similar duties in Star Trek Into Darkness, 2012.  Solomon Lane was finally Harris -  a totally unknown despite 50 screen role in 20 years. “I like playing people outside of society. That's where I tend to be drawn.”  
  9. Vincent D'Onofrio, The Magnificnt Seven, 2016.     Toting diversity as well a six-guns, director Antoine Fuqua’s guys guys were no match for the celebrated originals they were desecrating. No wonder Christian Bale, Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Wagner Moura also passed on the re-hash. Two more flew to Marvel: Benedict Cumberbatch for Doctor Strange, Jason Momoa as Aquaman.
  10. Jack Huston, The Yellow Birds, 2016.     Change of combatants for the Iraqui war drama. From Cumberbatch and Will Poulter to  Huston (post Ben-Hur) and Alden Ehrenreich (post Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply). Jennifer Anniston stayed in place as the mother of young soldier Tye Sheridan

 





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