British actor Benedict Cumberbatch is trading in his magnifying glass for a pen to star in THE CHILD IN TIME from BBC One and Masterpiece. He will also executive produce via his SunnyMarch TV banner, a first for the company. The 90-minute drama is an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name, written by Stephen Butchard.
The story focuses on a married couple, Stephen (Cumberbatch), a children’s book author, and his wife and the grief they go through when their daughter, at three years old, is kidnapped. Years pass, and as the couple realizes their child is gone, they diverge on different paths to confront their grief and devastation, while never letting go of the possibility of hope and love.
Originally published in 1987 as one of McEwan’s first novels, it won the Whitbread Novel Award. Praised for its exploration of loss and love, Cumberbatch made a statement about the project, saying: “I read the novel years ago and it stayed with me — profound, beautiful and very moving. Only [Ian] McEwan could write about loss with such telling honesty.”
This will be the second adaptation of a McEwan novel that Cumberbatch has been in, after his supporting role in 2007’s Atonement, which McEwan recalls with “fond memories.”
Executive producing alongside Cumberbatch will be Helen Gregory for Pinewood Television, Adam Ackland and David Boulter for SunnyMarch TV, Lucy Richer for the BBC, Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece, and Butchard.
Cumberbatch most recently appeared in the fourth season of Sherlock, another venture between BBC and Masterpiece. He also has an extensive slate of films he’s appearing in that are coming out or in development, including Jungle Book: Origins, Avengers: Infinity Wars, and Thor: Ragnarok. He’s also set to voice the Grinch in Universal’s newest adaptation of the Dr. Seuss story. He’s repped by Conway van Gelder Grant in the U.K. and UTA.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor
This news was first published by Deadline.