Benedict Cumberbatch, who scored a major success in the title role of the recent London revival of Hamlet, will be seen in a five-part limited series for Showtime.
Melrose, starring and executive-produced by Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Cumberbatch, is written by BAFTA Award nominee David Nicholls (Far From the Madding Crowd, One Day). Based on the Patrick Melrose series of semi-autobiographical novels written by Edward St. Aubyn, Melrose, according to press notes, “hilariously skewers the upper class as it tracks the protagonist’s harrowing odyssey from a deeply traumatic childhood through adult substance abuse and, ultimately, toward recovery.”
A co-production between Showtime and Sky Atlantic, the limited series will begin shooting in New York, London, and the South of France in August. A broadcast date has yet to be announced.
Cumberbatch will play Melrose, an “aristocratic and outrageously funny playboy who struggles to overcome the damage inflicted by a horribly abusive father and the mother who tacitly condoned the behavior.”
Michael Jackson and Oscar nominee and Emmy and Golden Globe-winning producer Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball, Grey Gardens) also serve as executive producers. Jackson, the former Channel Four and IAC executive, recently formed the drama banner Two Cities Television: Melrose will be the company’s first production. Along with Cumberbatch, Adam Ackland will executive produce for SunnyMarch.
In addition to Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre, Cumberbatch's stage credits include After the Dance and Frankenstein (both at London’s National Theatre). He has been nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards for his role as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock, winning the honor in 2014. He also received Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, British Independent Film Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations in 2015 for The Imitation Game. Cumberbatch’s other top roles include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County, and Doctor Strange.