Casting News: Benedict Cumberbatch to Star in Showtime's 'Melrose' Miniseries

No, no, this isn't a reboot of Melrose Place, but wouldn't that be fun? Benedict Cumberbatch poolside squabbling with his apartment complex mates.

What's actually happening is that Showtime and Sky Atlantic are co-producing a five-part series, based on Edward St. Aubyn's series of semi-autobiographical novels, which feature the protagonist Patrick Melrose. While not a flashy nighttime soap opera, the series will not be short of drama.

Melrose, to be portrayed by Cumberbatch, suffered through a traumatic childhood, which ultimately landed him in adulthood with a serious substance abuse problem, reports Deadline. Each episode, which covers just a few days in his life, takes place in a different time period, ranging from the South of France in the 1960s to New York in the 1980s and Great Britain in the 2000s.

If you want a bit more insight on Patrick Melrose, here's the character description courtesy of Deadline: "Cumberbatch’s Patrick 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."

David Nicholls (Far From the Madding Crowd) is on board to write the screenplay for each episode, but who will direct is still to be decided.

Cumberbatch has also signed on to executive produce. He and his Sunny March producing partner Adam Ackland released a statement about the forthcoming series, saying, "We have been huge fans of these books for many years and David Nicholls’ adaptations are extraordinary."

He's not exaggerating either. Apparently, back in 2013, Cumberbatch took part in a Reddit Q&A and when asked which literary character he'd like to play, he answered... yep, that's right, Patrick Melrose:

And here we are. Filming for Melrose begins this August.

Fortunately, Nicholls is just as keen on Cumberbatch, saying he "is the perfect Patrick Melrose."

It sounds like a win-win. And it's a huge victory for us, of course, because we can't get enough of "our" Benedict.

In other Cumberbatch news, he's currently filming The Current War, taking on the role of Thomas Edison. You can also look for him as Dr. Stephen Strange in the next installment of Thor, Thor: Ragnarok. As well, we'll see Strange in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, and he's set to lend his voice to three family-friendly projects: Magik (2018), Jungle Book (20180 and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2018).


Can you see Benedict in the role of Patrick Melrose?