It’s shaping up to be quite the year for Benedict Cumberbatch. Towards the end of 2016, the fan-favorite Brit will execute the one-two punch of Doctor Strange and Sherlock season 4, with the latter signalling his final turn as the illustrious sleuth – you know, potentially.
But Cumberbatch’s streak doesn’t there; Variety is reporting that the Oscar-nominated thesp is attached to produce and star in Rogue Male, a period thriller penned by Michael Lesslie of Macbeth and Assassin’s Creed fame.
It’s a fairly high-concept piece, too, one lifted from Geoffrey Household’s novel of the same name. Taking point as the lead, Cumberbatch will assume the role of a deadly assassin. His target? A malevolent dictator. One that Household himself designed to evoke Adolf Hitler in all the wrong ways.
1930-something: a professional hunter is passing through an unnamed Central European country that is in the thrall of a vicious dictator. The hunter wonders whether he can penetrate undetected into the dictator’s private compound. He does. He has the potential target in his sites and is wondering whether to pull the trigger when security catches up with him. Imprisoned, tortured, doomed to a painful death, the hunter makes an extraordinary and harrowing escape, fleeing through enemy territory to the safety of his native England. But that safety is delusive: his pursuers will not be diverted from their revenge by national borders; the British government cannot protect him without seeming to endorse his deed. The hunter must flee society, and he goes literaly underground, like a fox to its earth. The hunter has become the hunted.
Indeed, Rogue Male has been adapted for the screen twice before with the first, Man Hunt, landing in 1941. Peter O’Toole later headlined a TV movie based on Household’s work.
Fast forward thirty years and now Rogue Male is bound for the big screen once more, and the fact that Cumberbatch is heavily involved – producing and starring – is reason enough to get excited. No word yet on a production timeline, but fans can look forward to the actor lighting up theaters in Marvel’s Doctor Strange come November.