Sherlock and Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch is teaming up with Showtime on MELROSE, a five-part limited series based on the semi-autobiographical novels by Edward St. Aubyn. Cumberbatch will star and executive produce, while David Nicholls is adapting the series.
Melrose hilariously skewers the upper class as it tracks protagonist Patrick Melrose’s harrowing odyssey from a deeply traumatic childhood through adult substance abuse and, ultimately, toward recovery. The saga will encompass the South of France in the 1960s, New York in the 1980s, and Britain in the early 2000’s. Each hour of the limited series will be devoted to one of the five noves and is set over the course of a few intense days in Melrose’s life.
Cumberbatch will play Melrose, 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. Asked in 2013 if he could play any literary character ever, Cumberbatch shared in a Reddit Q&A that it would be Patrick Melrose.
The limited series is a co-production between Showtime and Sky Atlantic, and is will begin shooting in New York, London and the South of France in August. Cumberbatch will executive produce alongside Michael Jackson, Rachael Horovitz, and SunnyMarch’s Adam Ackland.
The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc.
Cumberbatch is best known for playing a modern-day Sherlock Holmes in Steven Moffatt’s Sherlock, for which has been nominated for four Emmy Awards. He also received an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Imitation Game and more recently joined the Marvel universe to play Doctor Strange.
Nicholls is a BAFTA nominee for the mini-series ShakespeaRe-Told, who also adapted the Masterpiece series Tess of the D’Urbervilles, which starred Eddie Redmayne and Gemma Arterton, and the feature film Far From the Maddening Crowd, which starred Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen.