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Benedict Cumberbatch to play Cold War spy in new movie Ironbark

The film is based on the true story of Greville Wynne, the man who helped end the Cuban Missile Crisis

Published: Friday, 4th May 2018 at 11:19 am

Benedict Cumberbatch is shedding his Doctor Strange cape to play a Cold War spy in the movie Ironbark.


The Sherlock actor will play the lead in a film based on the true story of Greville Wynne, a British businessman who was instrumental in helping the CIA penetrate the Soviet nuclear programme during the Cold War and bringing an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Wynne and his Russian source, Oleg Penkovsky – often referred to as “the spy who saved the world” – provided crucial intelligence to President Kennedy. In 1962, Wynne was caught by the KGB and sent to prison, but two years later was granted his freedom in exchange for a Soviet agent. Penkovsky wasn't so lucky - he faced the firing squad.

After writing a series of exposé novels about his experience, Wynne died in in 1990 having never received any formal recognition for his extraordinary services.

Ironbark will be directed by Dominic Cooke, who will also executive produce with Cumberbatch and Tom O’Connor. The latter is also writing the script.


Benedict Cumberbatch is currently starring in Avengers: Infinity War and will soon appear in the Sky Atlantic mini-series Patrick Melrose.

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