Benedict Cumberbatch to star in TV adaptation of classic Hitchcock film

The Sherlock star is confirmed for The 39 Steps

Benedict Cumberbatch, Getty, SL

It’s been a little while since we last saw Benedict Cumberbatch on the telly.


But the much-loved Sherlock and Doctor Strange star has given us all something to smile about, by announcing a brand new TV project.

It has been revealed that Cumberbatch will lead the cast in a new adaptation of The 39 Steps, the famous John Buchan novel, which was adapted into a classic Alfred Hitchcock movie in 1935.

The 39 Steps is a spy thriller set just before the start of the First World War. Since the Hitchcock version, the story has been adapted into three further films, including a BBC version with Rupert Henry-Jones playing the lead role. It was also turned into a successful theatre play, which enjoyed a long run in London’s West End.

But expect this limited series starring Cumberbatch to look and feel very different, as it promises to update the story for our modern times. Deadline reports, “An ordinary man, Richard Hannay, becomes an unwitting pawn in a vast, global conspiracy to reset the world order: 39 Steps that will change the world as we know it, with only Hannay standing in the way.”

Cumberbatch will be hoping The 39 Steps can match the success of Patrick Melrose, his 2018 Sky Atlantic series, which was universally lauded by critics and earned him his first BAFTA after seven previous nominations. Alongside The 39 Steps he is also working on a sequel to Doctor Strange, entitled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as well as a new film called Rio, in which he will star opposite Jake Gyllenhaal.

The 39 Steps is adapted for the small screen by Mark L. Smith, the writer behind Oscar-winning Leonardo Di Caprio film, The Revenant and directed by Patrick Melrose director Edward Berger. There is no word on when the series will begin filming, which channel it will air on, or who will star alongside Cumberbatch – we will update you as soon as we have more information.


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