Benedict Cumberbatch joins Johnny Depp in Black Mass
From the Boston Globe:
There’s a change in the cast of “Black Mass,” the movie about Whitey Bulger. We got word Wednesday that Aussie actor Guy Pearce, who was believed to be playing the mob boss’s law-abiding brother, Billy Bulger, has been replaced by Benedict Cumberbatch. And we’re OK with that. The 37-year-old English actor is best known for playing Sherlock Holmes in the TV series “Sherlock” and Julian Assange in “The Fifth Estate.” It’s not clear why the switch was made. The movie, which is being directed by Scott Cooper and stars Johnny Depp as Whitey, was shooting Wednesday in Cambridge.
Film and TV star Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for his portrayal of the detective Sherlock Holmes in the British BBC TV series Sherlock is to host the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 26.
Benedict has appeared in a series of highly successful films over the last few years, including this years Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave and the Academy award nominated August: Osage County. In addition last year he appeared as Julian Assange in the Wikileaks movie The Fifth Estate and as the Dragon Smaug, in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Benedict has also appeared in Atonement (2007), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse (2011).
He said: “I am a big sports enthusiast and I am delighted to be able to host such an important event in the sporting year. I have seen the names of all the great sportsmen and women who have been nominated for the Laureus Awards this year and, although I played a great detective in Sherlock, I have to confess I have no idea who is going to win. They all seem to have achieved so much. But it will be great to be part of such a special event.”
Cumberbatch recently took part in 50 Years on Stage, the Royal National Theatre’s landmark event for its 50th anniversary, taking on the role of Rosencrantz in a scene from Tom Stoppard’s play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. In 2015 he will return to the stage to play Hamlet in London’s West End.
A great supporter of charities, Cumberbatch is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust which aims to help disadvantaged young people in the United Kingdom. After playing scientist Stephen Hawking in the TV production of Hawking in 2004, he has been an active supporter and patron of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Unfortunately, the film can pretty much be summed up as when a terrible script happens to excellent actors and really doesn’t do credit to well, anyone or anything, but still, it’s the thought that counts, right?
(And actually the real truth is I don’t even care how bad the film is because Peter’s hair is fantastic and as far as I’m concerned that makes up for any number of dire cinematic sins.)
I thought it was quite good. It certainly held my interest. Although a part of that was surely because of the amazing charisma of BC’s performance. The (many) reviews that talked about the film as mostly a showcase for his talent sure weren’t kidding. I’ve seen him in a bunch of roles now and every time I’m amazed again. There is nothing of previous roles or himself in Assange. He’s simultaneously magnetic and repulsive and sexy and gross and evil and benevolent and it’s just…gah.
If you need an actor to lend the sting of Olympian intelligence to men above and apart — Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series, Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate, Stephen Hawking in a 2004 TV movie — you go to Cumberbatch. Fantasy filmmakers cast him as Khan in Star Trek Under Darkness and the voice of Smaug in the Hobbit movies. But no character is more brilliant and intimidating, or crippled, than Cumberbatch’s Alan Turing in Morten Tyldum’s superb bio-pic. The gay genius who fathered the modern computer, known as the Turing machine, annoys his colleagues assembled to crack the Germans’ World War II Enigma code and insists on making the crucial decisions because, he says, “No one else can.” Cumberbatch brings an almost erotic power to a man who makes his magic in his head. The “action” here is Turing tinkering with his machine. Or simply thinking — which, as Cumberbatch portrays it, is adventure of the highest order. In The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne excellently played another Cambridge math whiz, Hawking. But Cumberbatch had to be the one and only Turing. Why? Because no one else could.
TIME names Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game the #1 Best Movie Performance of 2014. [x]