Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) will star in the upcoming Netflix limited series The 39 Steps. Based upon the thriller novel under the same name written by John Buchan (Midwinter), Cumberbatch will reunite with Edward Berger (Your Honor), who directed him in the Showtime limited series Patrick Melrose, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
The 39 Steps was published in 1915 and became an instant classic of the thriller genre. It was then loosely adapted into the critically acclaimed 1935 film under the same name directed by Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho). Robert Donat (Goodbye, Mr. Chips) starred as Richard Hannay and Madeleine Carrol (The Prisoner as Zenda) as Pamela. It’s often regarded as one of Hitchcock’s best works.
Cumberbatch will now play Hanney, a man who accidentally becomes involved in a large global conspiracy. An average British citizen, he gets drawn into the underworld of espionage and spies with danger looming. One of the major changes in the upcoming adaptation is that it will take place in the present day.
A long list of works in both film and television, some of Cumberbatch’s best known work is for his portrayal as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series Sherlock. In 2014, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Actor in a limited series for Sherlock: His Last Vow. He then starred in and executive produced the 2018 Showtime limited series Patrick Melrose, which received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Miniseries. In film, he received a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his portrayal as Alan Turner in the 2014 historical drama film The Imitation Game. He then received further recognition for his role as Dr. Stephen Strange in the 2016 Marvel movie Doctor Strange.
Berger is slated the direct the series with Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) set to write. Cumberbatch’s company SunnyMarch will produce along with Anonymous Content and Chapter One Pictures. Cumberbatch will also executive produce alongside Berger, Smith, Adam Ackland (Patrick Melrose), Sophie Gardiner (Howard’s End), Cliff Roberts (The Midnight Sky), and Keith Redmon (The Beaver).