Benedict Cumberbatch to begin work in August on new Sky Atlantic drama

Benedict Cumberbatch will star in and executive produce Melrose, a new Sky Atlantic mini-series based on the classic Edward St Aubyn novels.

Back in 2013, when he was asked in a Q&A which role he would choose if he could play any literary character, Benedict Cumberbatch told MarkMeets: “Patrick Melrose”.

Cumberbatch Melrose

The star will play the titular character, Patrick Melrose, “an aristocratic and outrageously funny playboy” who turns to substance abuse to erase bad childhood memories of his abusive father and a mother who tacitly condoned the behaviour. Asked in 2013 if he could play any literary character ever, Cumberbatch shared in a Reddit Q&A that it would be Patrick Melrose.

St Aubyn’s Melrose novels – including the Man Booker Prize-winning Mother’s Milk – are an acclaimed semi-autobiographical series.

Each episode of the five-part series will be based on a different book and will take place over a few intense days in Melrose’s life, from the South of France in the 60s via 80s New York to early-2000s Britain.

One Day author David Nicholls (who also penned the script for the 2015 film version of Far From the Madding Crowd) will write all five episodes.

Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland, who will produce under their company SunnyMarch, said: “We are delighted to be part of this incredible series. We have been huge fans of these books for many years and David Nicholls’ adaptations are extraordinary.”

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