Swapping one well-bred Brit with a drug addiction and distinctive overcoat for another, Benedict Cumberbatch is leaving Sherlock behind to take on the role of Patrick Melrose in his next TV outing.
Based on the semi-autobiographical quintet of novels by Edward St Aubyn, this five-part Sky series of the same name devotes an episode to each book, following the caustic protagonist from a drug-crazed 24 hours in New York in his 20s to a tentative recovery in midde-age.
Cumberbatch, who stars in Marvel’s upcoming Infinity War as Doctor Strange, has proclaimed the novels “the most exquisite achievements in 21st-century prose” and a few years back named Melrose as the fictional character he’d most like to play.
St Aubyn is equally excited to have the actor take on the role, telling Vanity Fair recently: “I’ve spent 25 years being asked if I’m Patrick Melrose, so it’s a great relief to be able to say, ‘No, Benedict Cumberbatch is. ’ ”
The series is written by Bafta Award nominee David Nicholls, Far from the Madding Crowd screenwriter and One Day author. The show also stars Hugo Weaving, of The Matrix fame, who plays Melrose’s abusive father.