In a sly publicity stunt in London this morning, the BBC confirmed the UK airdate for the return of hit detective drama Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will be back as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson on January 1, 2014 on BBC One; they return to PBS in the States a couple of weeks later on January 19th. The first episode in the new three-part series is titled The Empty Hearse, and this morning just such a vehicle made the rounds of some Sherlock shooting locations in the British capital, sending Twitter wild – and bringing confirmation of the news from the show’s producers. The hearse wasn’t entirely empty, though, since it contained a funereal floral arrangement spelling out the New Year’s return date which sees the series pick up two years after Holmes was last seen plummeting from St Bart’s Hospital in Season 2 finale, The Reichenbach Fall. Here’s a pic courtesy of the BBC:
‘Everest’ Update: Sony Eyes March For Doug Liman’s Pic; Universal, Baltasar Kormakur Lose Co-Fi But Still Plan November Climb
EXCLUSIVE: What’s going on with the two studio-backed movies titled Everest, about two spectacularly different incidents that took place on the same hill? Well let me tell you. Both films have weathered missteps, but the filmmakers behind each say …
WikiLeaks and its embattled founder Julian Assange keep trying to make it crystal clear they don’t support DreamWorks‘ upcoming The Fifth Estate. Today WikiLeaks published the first of Assange’s letters to Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays him in the October 18 release, denying the actor’s request to meet prior to production. The pic directed by Bill Condon is based on Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website by Daniel Domscheit-Berg and WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy by David Leigh and Luke Harding, which Assange calls “toxic” and “the two most discredited books on the market”. WikiLeaks previously posted a version of the Fifth Estate script online along with a rather exhaustive memo detailing everything the film gets wrong. Here’s the Assange letter:
Thank you for trying to contact me. It is the first approach by anyone from the Dreamworks production to me or WikiLeaks.
My assistants communicated your request to me, and I have given it a lot of thought and examined your previous work, which I am fond of.
I think I would enjoy meeting you.
The bond that develops between an actor and a living subject is significant.
If the film reaches distribution we will forever be correlated in the public imagination. Our paths will be forever entwined. Each of us will be granted standing to comment on the other for many years to come and others will compare our characters and trajectories.
But I must speak directly.
The Toronto Film Festival got off to a strong start with Bill Condon‘s penetrating and thought-provoking The Fifth Estate, the story of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. But it’s not a dry procedural or recital of recent headlines. This riveting drama is a character study of a narcissistic personality out of control, a man not afraid to leak everyone else’s secrets but his own. Benedict Cumberbatch, who can do no wrong lately, is brilliant as Assange. And Daniel Bruhl, who plays his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg, clearly is going to have a problem this awards season: He’s not only absolutely terrific in this role, he’s equally great in Ron Howard’s Rush which premieres here Sunday. When I told him right after the film he was going to be the breakout star of this festival, he just laughed. But take my word, this guy is the real deal and this is his year — if these two stirring supporting turns don’t cannibalize each other. As the film credits finished, Bruhl came up and hugged Condon, throwing superlatives his way. Bruhl had only previously seen a very rough cut of the film and was blown away by the final results.
He should be. This film is reminiscent of the great political thrillers of the 1970s. Most will probably compare it to the recent The Social Network, since it deals with the Internet and all its possibilities, but it is far more akin to the social dramas that defined ’70s Hollywood filmmaking. In fact, let me go out on a limb: This is the best film of its kind to hit the screen since All The President’s Men in 1976. Condon’s direction is reminiscent of the style employed by Alan Pakula in that film and others from the era like The Parallax View and Klute. And it moves like a freight train. Naysayers may quibble with the dense storyline but the acting is uniformly excellent (David Thewlis, Stanley Tucci and Laura Linney are other standouts). Where The Fifth Estate succeeds so strongly is in taking a fluid ripped-from-the-headlines story and making it timeless. Unlike last year’s Zero Dark Thirty, which had to completely rework its story when Osama bin Laden was suddenly captured and killed, this film is a complete character study and won’t be judged by ever-changing events. Some people may not care and that’s their problem but hopefully there’s an audience out there for a smart adult drama like this, but what you take away from it could depend what, from your own experience, you bring to it. I know this much: As a study of a person whose whole world view revolves only around themselves, this is as good as it gets. Assange has, sight unseen, already dismissed the film, but in a clever coda the movie even addresses that criticism. That’s how smart this thing is.
Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were never scheduled to appear in person at Sherlock’s debut Comic-Con panel but they showed up anyway – via video. Both actors filmed short shout-outs to the very loud jam packed Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center. “Make sure you really scream and shout and ask them lots of belligerent questions,” quipped Freeman to the fans about the in-person panel of co-creators/EPs Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and producer Sue Vertue. Working on a Peter Jackson’s still filming sequel, Freeman was in full Hobbit makeup and shades in his clip. The just Emmy-nominated Cumberbatch on the other hand was more casually dressed in his pre-taped appearance. After joking that he was doing a junket for Star Trek Into Darkness and other projects before talking about Sherlock, the vacationing actor launched into a long edited mimed play on how the character survived the fall he took in the Season 2 ender and what it’s like to play a modern version of Holmes. “It’s more fun making than watching,” Cumberbatch also told the crowd as he thanked the fans for watching and showing up. The BBC show, seen here on PBS, has currently finished two episodes of its upcoming Season 3 and about to start on a third.
Guillermo Del Toro’s Next Pic ‘Crimson Peak’ Casts Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone & Charlie Hunnam
BREAKING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone and Charlie Hunnam have signed on to star in Legendary Pictures’ haunted house thriller Crimson Peak, which will be the next movie to be directed by Guillermo del Toro and is set to begin shooting in January 2014. Del Toro originally wrote the ghost story script with frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins and had set it up at Universal; he now is giving it a rewrite with Lucinda Coxon. Legendary will produce and be a participating financing partner, with Universal retaining an option to also finance at a later date. Legendary is also behind del Toro’s Pacific Rim, which is due out July 12 via Warner Bros. Warners will likely distribute Crimson Peak via its deal with Legendary.
Del Toro previously told Deadline that Crimson Peak is best described as “a very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern take on the ghost story. It will allow me to play with the conventions of the genre I know and love, and at the same time subvert the old rules.”
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have signed on for a fourth season of the BBC1/PBS Masterpiece drama Sherlock, which started its Season 3 table read yesterday ahead of shooting next week. Cumberbatch, who earned Emmy and …
It’s been quite awhile since viewers saw Benedict Cumberbatch‘s high-functioning sociopath, Sherlock Holmes, step off the side of a building in Sherlock‘s Season 2 finale, The Reichenbach Fall. But today, BBC One’s hit drama had its first Season 3 read-through with shooting to start next Monday. Emmy-nominated director Paul McGuigan, who helmed four of the first six 90-minute episodes, has confirmed he will not be aboard for this season, however. Over the weekend, he tweeted: “#sherlock has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my working life as a director but now I have a movie to make…so stay tuned x“. He’s lined up to direct Frankenstein, 20th Century Fox’s revamp of the Mary Shelley classic novel that has Daniel Radcliffe in talks, and is also working with Cumberbatch on The Man Who, about the life of Beatles manager Brian Epstein.
EXCLUSIVE: Benedict Cumberbatch‘s next high-profile role looks like it will be playing English mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Graham Moore’s heralded screenplay that went from Warner Bros to Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures. Headhunters helmer Morten Tyldum recently signed on to direct, and I hear it will be Cumberbatch (he’s in deep conversations but hasn’t yet signed a deal) who plays the genius most responsible for cracking the German “Enigma Code” during World War II that helped the Allies stave off defeat, and who would later be prosecuted by Britain in the early 1950s for being a homosexual. Schwarzman is producing along with Ampersand Pictures’ Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky. Moore will be exec producer.
This is the 2011 Black List script that originally got set at Warner Bros with Leonardo DiCaprio expected to star. In what seems shocking today, the hero was forced to make a radical choice, and he chose chemical castration over prison. He was so demoralized that he eventually committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple. Black Bear is fully financing. With the helmer and Cumberbatch, I can’t imagine some distributor will jump on this Oscar-bait undertaking.
UPDATE, 10:40 AM: DreamWorks has confirmed my story, and they’ve got a title for the WikiLeaks feature – The Fifth Estate. (At right is also a first photo from the production featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange and Daniel Bruhl as Berg.) I’m putting the press release after the original scoop.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 9:44 AM: Participant Media is closing a deal to become DreamWorks‘ partner on the untitled feature film that Bill Condon is directing about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The studio has Benedict Cumberbatch playing Assange, with Daniel Bruhl playing Daniel Domscheit-Berg, whose book, Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange At The World’s Most Dangerous Website, was one of two books that were the primary source material for the script written by Josh Singer. Steve Golin and Michael Sugar are producing.
This becomes the fifth film partnership between DreamWorks and Participant, where Jeff Skoll and Jim Berk’s focus is to generate socially relevant subject matter. Those other collaborations are the Best Picture nominee Lincoln, The Help, The Kite Runner, and The Soloist.
This gives a clear shot at a production start on the film at a time when there has been big interest in the rogue web entrepreneur Assange. That includes one that Zero Dark Thirty scribe Mark Boal partnered on with Management 360 and financier/producer Megan Ellison that’s based on The Boy Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, an article about Assange in The New York Times Magazine written by the newspaper’s executive editor Bill Keller.
The conversations on DreamWorks‘ Julian Assange film that Twilight Saga’s Bill Condon will likely direct is now with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the WikiLeaks founder, and Robocop‘s Joel Kinnaman playing his former right hand man, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. The studio would not confirm this, but it seemed intriguing and dishy enough to discuss. DreamWorks acquired the books WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy, by David Leigh and Luke Harding, and Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange At The World’s Most Dangerous Website, written by Domscheit-Berg. Josh Singer wrote the script.