First official picture of Benedict Cumberbatch in The Hollow Crown

Enjoy an official glimpse of Sherlock actor as Richard III in upcoming BBC Shakespeare adaptation

Hey Benedict, why the long face? Fans used to swooning over Cumberbatch may have trouble recognising him perched on top of his black steed. Lank haired and brooding, the first official picture from Richard III suggests Benny C is off to a great start portraying one of Shakespeare’s more loathsome villains.

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Interestingly, a long black cloak swathes his left hand side, possibly to hide the king’s famous hunch. The real life Richard III suffered from a curve in the spine, but was not as deformed as he is traditionally portrayed on stage. Also he was nowhere near as nasty, but Shakespeare never let facts get in the way of Jacobean propoganda.

Cumberbatch will join an all-star cast including his former foe Andrew Scott, Judi Dench and Hugh Bonneville in the BBC’s second round of Shakespearean history plays, The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses. Martin Freeman also portrayed the tyrant on stage at the Trafalgar Square Theatre earlier this year. 

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Just don’t get too attached to that horse. It doesn’t make it to the end.