He’s played powerful sorcerers, masterful mathematicians, and detectives that are at once impossibly intelligent and supremely unlikeable, but for his latest gig, Benedict Cumberbatch is set to portray Tom Hazard, a nondescript man who’s been alive for centuries no thanks to an “extremely rare condition.”
Its name? How to Stop Time, an adaptation of Matt Haig’s soon-to-be-published novel that has already found a home at SunnyMarch and StudioCanal. Not to be confused with The Child in Time, which has the backing of Sherlock dream team BBC and America’s PBS Masterpiece, Cumberbatch’s latest project is more akin to Cloud Atlas due to its sweeping scope.
Despite his appearance as a 41-year-old, Tom Hazard has actually been alive for close to 400 years, which he considers to be both a blessing and a curse. Forever adopting new identities to keep his ‘gift’ in the shadows, Hazard has now settled as a history teacher operating out of London, England, and an official statement from StudioCanal teases “a wildly imagined love story that spans centuries and continents, and cements Haig’s reputation as one of the most original and exciting novelists of his generation.”
There’s currently no mention of a screenwriter to adapt Matt Haig’s novel, but considering the author worked on bringing Paddington to the big screen two years ago, we wouldn’t be too surprised to learn that Haig closed a deal to hash out a screenplay of his own. How to Stop Time, his first adult-oriented novel in years, is set to be published in July of this year, and Matt Haig couldn’t be more enthused about the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Tom Hazard.
I only finished writing this book about two weeks ago. And now this is happening. It feels fast and surreal. Beautiful, but surreal.
— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) March 14, 2017
The wheels are in motion on StudioCanal’s adaptation of How to Stop Time. Little is known about the project’s production timeline, but we do know Benedict Cumberbatch will soon be courted back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Thor: Ragnarok (November 3rd) and Avengers: Infinity War (May 4th, 2018).