Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Grieving Father in BBC and Masterpiece’s “The Child in Time,” Will Also Exec Produce


Benedict CumberbatchGetty Images

British actor is trading in his magnifying glass for a pen to star in from One and Masterpiece. He will also executive produce via his SunnyMarch banner, a first for the company. The 90-minute drama is an adaptation of ’s novel of the same name, written by .

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 , Adam Ackland and David Boulter for SunnyMarch , Lucy Richer for the , Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece, and Butchard.

Cumberbatch most recently appeared in the fourth season of Sherlock, another venture between and Masterpiece. He also has an extensive slate of films he’s appearing in that are coming out or in development, including Jungle Book: OriginsAvengers: Infinity Wars, and Thor: Ragnarok. He’s also set to voice the Grinch in ’s newest adaptation of the Dr. Seuss story. He’s repped by in the U.K. and .

Butchard is primarily known for executive producing and writing The Last Kingdom for Two. He’s repped by in the U.K. and .

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This news was first published by Deadline.


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