Benedict Cumberbatch is being linked to a starring role in a proposed new film set in the trenches of the First World War.
The Sherlock star is tipped to play the lead role of the hero Captain Stanhope in a new film based on R.C Sherriff’s 1928 play about a group of officers in the last year of the conflict.
In the play Stanhope is a father figure to his men but also reflects bitterly about the idiocy of war. Hiddleston is also said to be a candidate for the new film, which has not been formally financed but looks to have a good chance to be made.
According to the Sunday Times, the Fluidity Films project has been in abeyance for a number of years because of complications surrounding a series of deals stretching back to 1929. A feature film version, banned by the Nazis in 1933, was made in 1930 and a 1988 television adaptation starred Jeremy Northam.
However a letter from Prince Andrew to Warner Bros has rekindled interest in the new project, the paper reported, with the member of the Royal Family asking the head of Warner Bros UK Josh Berger to reconsider reclaiming the rights to the project and the story which the Prince said was of significance to the UK as we reach the war’s 100th anniversary.
It is said that Cumberbatch may join a cast of other leading British actors in the film.
Hiddleston could be a good bet to play the enthusiastic Lieutenant Osborne in the film version while Eddie Redmayne is also a name in the frame.
Cumberbatch has already dazzled viewers with his role as the idealistic Christopher Tietjens in the BBC series Parade’s End which is set during the war. Hiddleston also played a memorable part of a World War One soldier as the ill-fated Captain James Nicholls in Steven Spielberg’s film version of the stage play War Horse.
Redmayne played the main character of World War One officer Stephen Wraysford in the recent BBC adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ novel Birdsong, which is also set in and around the conflict.