Benedict Cumberbatch is an incredibly busy man. The actor, who is best known for playing the title character in the BBC One series Sherlock, will be one of the most ubiquitous faces in show business next year. He will star opposite Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman as the dragon Smaug (and the villainous Necromancer) in the upcoming Hobbit trilogy of films. He's the still-unknown villain in J.J. Abrams' upcoming sci-fi blockbuster Star Trek 2. He just finished filming Twelve Years a Slave with Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender. And somewhere in next year's flurry of work, he'll be returning to television for a third season of Sherlock, which has garnered him several Emmy nominations. And if you think that his schedule for 2013 simply couldn't handle another acting gig, you obviously don't know Cumberbatch's work ethic. The actor has just been cast in the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County.
Cumberbatch will appear alongside Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in the film, which is headed up by The Weinstein Company and directed by John Wells, the executive producer of Showtime's series Shameless and TNT's Southland (he also directed 2010's The Company Men). The news was first broken by The Hollywood Reporter.
August: Osage County is a family drama that follows the return of a family to their childhood home as the woman who raised them (Streep) begins to die of cancer. Cumberbatch will play the son of Streep's sister, who will be played by the Emmy-winning Margo Martindale (Justified). Cumberbatch's character is emotionally abused by his mother and is, as a result, overly sensitive. It's certainly a change from the cold aloofness of Sherlock.
The film will likely begin filming toward the end of September, meaning that Sherlock fans need not worry; there will be no conflict between this production and the filming of Sherlock series 3, which is slated to begin early next year.