First look at Benedict Cumberbatch in The Hollow Crown

The Sherlock actor stars alongside Dame Judi Dench, Hugh Bonneville, Keeley Hawes and Sally Hawkins in the second cycle of Shakespeare's history plays

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After spending the last two years building a bonafide movie career – alongside his stints as Sherlock – Benedict Cumberbatch is now looking to Shakespeare. 

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He’s already sold out theatres more than twelve months in advance of his appearance as Hamlet in 2015 but, in the meantime, he’s taking on another Shakespearean character – Richard III – in BBC2’s second cycle of The Hollow Crown. 

The production – which begun filming in the UK yesterday – requires Cumberbatch to employ his horse-riding skills and to sport some shaggy locks as Shakespeare’s hunch-backed monarch.

The four-part series series adapts both Henry VI (in three parts) and Richard III and also features Judi Dench, Hugh Bonneville, Keeley Hawes, Sophie Okonedo, Tom Strurridge and Sally Hawkins.

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Picture credit: sherlock-series.tumblr.com