Benedict Cumberbatch is becoming a geek hero. After starring in BBC’s hit series Sherlock, Cumberbatch took roles in two of this and last year's biggest geek films, The Hobbit series and Star Trek Into Darkness. The road as a geek movie star has been paved; the question now is just which roles Cumberbatch should think of taking next?
Acting out my fantasy as his agent, here are 10 movie roles I think Cumberbatch should think about, if not sign up for immediately. All of these roles stem from movies that are coming out in 2014. These films don’t have any serious cast listing yet, so you never know — Cumberbatch might just be a part of one (or more) of these films.
Jurassic Park IV
Steven Spielberg said at the 2011 Comic Con that Jurassic Park IV is in development. As to whether he’s directing or producing in some capacity isn’t really known yet. But if the film is aiming to be an instant classic like the first Jurassic Park, there will need to be a magnetic star to headline, no matter who is in the director’s seat. This could be another great franchise for Cumberbatch to attach himself to. Just imagine – Cumberbatch as a paleontologist traversing the forbidden areas of Jurassic Park with a crew, trying to stay alive while learning more about the mysteries of the park.
It also helps that Cumberbatch has worked with Spielberg before on 2011’s War Horse. Hopefully Spielberg does approach Cumberbatch about a part.
According to IMDB, his film, directed by Wally Pfister and starring Johnny Depp, is about a scientist whose had his brain uploaded into his self-aware supercomputer creation after he is assassinated by anti-technology terrorists. It’s a safe bet that Depp is playing the scientist/supercomputer, but there’s no word yet on who is playing the villain. I think that role should belong to Cumberbatch.
This film is already set in the sci-fi world, a genre that Cumberbatch will, more than likely, do very well in, if our split-second peek at his mysterious role in Star Trek Into Darkness is an indication. Plus, it would be fun to see Depp and Cumberbatch go head-to-head.
Bond 24, Bond 25 and beyond
Bond 24 is coming down the pike in 2014 and Bond 25 is in the near future. While the casts are shaping up for both films, Cumberbatch should be thought of as a possible Bond villain. Cumberbatch has the intensity to be a very intimidating Bond villain. Just look at how intense he is as Sherlock Holmes, and Sherlock’s a good guy! Just think of hardcore Cumberbatch would be playing a bad guy?
No matter how much you think the Nolan-verse franchise should be the end-all be-all of Batman films, The Caped Crusader will be heading back the theaters in the coming years due to Warner Bros.’ desire to reboot the movie series. With a new Batman, new director, and possibly a direction that veers away from the Nolan-verse, one might wonder how dumbed down things are going to get. One way to ease fans’ fears is to get a fantastic actor to play a villain. Enter Cumberbatch.
To me, he would be best playing a wiry, psychological villain like the Scarecrow or the Riddler, a villain that wasn’t revisited in the Nolan-verse franchise. Cumberbatch might also be good for a character who is both physical and psychological, like Hush. No matter who Cumberbatch could be cast as, he would bring the intensity needed to provide the drama the reboot needs.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
If you’ve seen Sherlock, you know how often Sherlock is sitting at a microscope, studying slides. Wouldn’t it be great if Cumberbatch takes the same scientific intensity Sherlock has and puts it into a scientist character for a film like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? It’s highly plausible that the sequel will, once again, involve scientists (the humans have to see if they can stop the deadly airborne illness after all) and having a scientist character played by Cumberbatch would be amazing. Just as the audience trusts Sherlock to find the answer through his studies, we would trust Cumberbatch’s scientist character to find the antidote. The most chilling part is that, as the film would have to show, he won’t.
Phineas and Ferb
Every actor needs to dive into the realm of children’s movies. If I was Cumberbatch’s agent and saw he expressed interest in joining a children’s film, I would immediately try to secure a role in the upcoming Phineas and Ferb movie.
Firstly, the cartoon is practically a Disney Channel legend now, having garnered numerous awards for their inventive and highly clever storytelling. Secondly, working on a film like Phineas and Ferb should be fun and rewarding — you can let your hair down, in a sense, when working on a children’s movie that has extreme characters and a zany plot. Thirdly, Phineas and Ferb is a show that is rather cosmopolitan and I would be surprised if the people behind the film didn’t want any stars in the cast. Having Cumberbatch in the film (perhaps as a relative to the English-born Ferb and his father) would be cool.
Untitled Mummy Reboot
Even though it’s going to be set in the present day, the untitled reboot to The Mummy is set to be more in line with the scary original from the ‘30s. Since the Brendan Fraser mold of the franchise is being done away with, I suggest that Hollywood should pass the mantle on to Cumberbatch. Similar to his believability in scientific roles, he has what it takes to be convincing in explorer/Egyptologist roles. Also, his flair for serious yet engaging drama is what the new franchise needs if it is aiming to really move away from the fun, jokey Mummy series from the ‘90s.
The Woman in Black: Angels of Death
This Hammer film became the biggest American opening for a Hammer film in the English studio’s history. The casting for the sequel, The Woman in Black: Angels of Death, has yet to be released, but I think it would be neat if Cumberbatch was on the list. Horror is one genre we haven’t seen Cumberbatch take on, and if the sequel is planning on continuing the Gothic-style horror the original had, I think that’s the type of horror Cumberbatch is best suited for (if it’s another style of horror, I’m sure he’d be good for that too).
According to IMDB, Biosphere is about three young scientists who are living in a biosphere in the Arizona desert, working to save the Earth from destruction. For some reason, they can’t remember their childhoods. It’s only when they figure out that their lives are lies that they begin the harrowing search to find the truth.
The film has yet to be cast, but I think Cumberbatch — with all the sci-fi clout he’s going to get with Star Trek Into Darkness — would be someone the casting director should put on his or her shortlist. There’s no real description of the scientist characters, but, if you go back to the points I’ve outlined before about Cumberbatch’s intensity and cerebral quality, you can see how he might be a good fit for the film.
Andy Serkis (aka Gollum) is behind Animal Farm, which will be filmed using motion capture. I’m not sure how exactly actors are going to be cast for this film, if they’ll be cast at all (really, Serkis and his team could do all the work themselves). But if the film is aiming to have more star talent, why not cast Cumberbatch as one of the main pigs?
I’m partial to the idea of him playing Squealer, even if he’ll have to pitch his voice up for it. Squealer is arguably one of the slimiest characters, even slimier than Napoleon in a way (at least you already know Napoleon is up to no good). Squealer has the ability to play both fields in order to promote Napoleon’s propaganda, and that kind of role would have a lot for Cumberbatch to work with.
So there you have it. C’mon Cumberbatch fans – which film do you think Cumberbatch should be signed on to? Give your opinions in the comments section!