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A new trailer released yesterday (April 18) for The Hollow Crown focuses on the rise of one character, played by man of the moment Benedict Cumberbatch.

The next installment of the BBC’s ambitious TV adaptation of Shakespeare’s history plays will depict the War of the Roses, a bloodthirsty fifteenth-century battle for power between two warring families, against which Richard Plantagenet emerges to become first Duke of York then King Richard III of England.

Basically it’s Game of Thrones + Benedict Cumberbatch. The result? The internet explodes:

Eagle-eyed viewers will also spot Judi Dench, who plays Richard’s mother Cecily, Duchess of York; Hugh Bonneville, who plays Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester; Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda, Undercover) as Queen Margaret, the wife of Henry VI who was deposed and possibly killed by Edward IV, Richard’s brother, whose wife Queen Elizabeth (no, not that one) is played by Keeley Hawes (Doctor Who).

Phew. Still with us?

Benedict has said he’s keen to bring more empathy to the role of Richard III, whose reputation has been hugely tarnished by Shakespeare’s portrayal of him as a murderous hunchback, and even went as far as reading out a poem at the reburial of the king’s body in Leicester Cathedral last year. It’s certainly a character close to his heart; it was reported he is actually related to the 15th-century king (albeit 16 times removed).

Long live King Benedict is what we say.

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.