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Benedict Cumberbatch to star in limited Netflix series The 39 Steps

The conspiracy thriller series is a modern remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 classic film.

Benedict Cumberbatch
Published: Saturday, 10th April 2021 at 11:32 am

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch will star in Netflix's The 39 Steps, a contemporary remake of Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1935 thriller based on the 1915 adventure novel by John Buchan.


The actor is reuniting with Patrick Melrose director Edward Berger for the series, which will be written by The Revenant screenwriter Mark L Smith. Cumberbatch won a BAFTA for his role in the acclaimed Sky Atlantic drama based on the series of novels by award-wining author Edward St. Aubyn.

Berger also recently directed episodes of Bryan Cranston's Showtime and Sky Atlantic drama Your Honor, and Smith scripted Netflix's George Clooney-directed film The Midnight Sky.

The 39 Steps series has been described as an action-packed conspiracy thriller, and will be set in the modern day.

It follows a seemingly ordinary man, Richard Hannay (Cumberbatch) who unwittingly becomes embroiled in a vast, global conspiracy to reset the world order: 39 Steps that will change the world as we know it, with Hannay as the only obstacle in the way.

Cumberbatch will executive produce the series. The star recently starred in The Mauritanian alongside Jodie Foster and The Serpent's Tahar Rahim, and will be seen next in the Cold War thriller The Courier. He will also be reprising his Doctor Strange character in two upcoming Marvel movies - Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Meanwhile, Cumberbatch recently gave fresh hope to Sherlock fans after suggesting the beloved BBC drama could return in the format of a feature film.

“I’m the worst person to ask on this because I never say never, obviously,” he recently told Collider. "But I don’t know. And I’m the worst person to ask because my slate’s pretty, pretty full at the moment, as is Martin’s and all the other key players involved. So, who knows? Maybe one day, if the script’s right. And I say ‘the script,’ maybe it could be a film rather than the series. Who knows?"


Creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss had already revealed possible Sherlock future cases during a Q&A to mark the series’ tenth anniversary, so there’s plenty of material for a film to draw on.

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