Benedict Cumberbatch

Who Needs CGI?: First Look at Benedict Cumberbatch Filming Smaug in 'The Hobbit'

The second installment of director Peter Jackson’s epic The Hobbit trilogy, subtitled The Desolation of Smaug, will open in theaters on December 13. Fans everywhere have been beside themselves with anticipation basically since the credits rolled on An Unexpected Journey last December, eager to see J.R.R. Tolkien’s story continue.

Of course, the main thing we’re all excited about is basically what it says on the tin – this is the one that’s got the dragon in it. Yeah, we will finally meet the titular and legendary Smaug the Golden in this installment, and, if the initial trailer where we finally get to hear him speak is any indication, he’s going to be pretty impressive.

And, of course, many of us would argue he was always going to be pretty impressive given the fact that such an impressive actor is behind-the-scenes. Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, who seems to have a different movie out every other week for the duration of 2013, is playing Smaug – or, at the very least providing his voice (which you can here in the trailer above) and doing the motion capture work that is turned into Smaug through the magic of the folks at the Weta Workshop. (Who, obviously, is not our WETA, but who we like quite a bit all the same. Gollum is awesome.)

Go Behind the Scenes of ‘12 Years a Slave’ with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch

Director Steve McQueen’s highly anticipated drama 12 Years a Slave – by many critical accounts a lock for a Best Picture Oscar next year – opened in theaters beginning October 18. Of course, that’s a limited release, so you may still have to wait a bit before you get to see this powerful film for yourself if you don’t live in a major metropolitan area.

The drama features a bevy of British stars – including a trio of up-and-coming “it” actors in star Chiwetel Ejiofor, as well as supporting players Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch. There are also a few Americans you might recognize, most notably Brad Pitt. The film retells the true story of Solomon Northrup, a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War United States. Northrup was forced to work on plantations in Louisana for twelve years before his release and fought both to return home and preserve his dignity against impossible odds.

The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last month to almost universal acclaim – with most critics hailing it as a harrowing, uncompromising (and sometimes difficult to watch) portrayal of slavery in America, and lining up to pour accolades on Ejiofor’s performance, in particular.

Website ScreenSlam shared three behind-the-scenes set interviews with Ejiofor, Fassbender and Cumberbatch, as all three actors shared their thoughts on the film, their roles, and what it was like to work on the set and with acclaimed director McQueen. Watch them all below.

Not Just Our Little Sherlock Anymore: Benedict Cumberbatch Lands the Cover of ‘TIME’

 

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has been barreling toward stardom ever since he landed the role of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective a few years ago. Today, it would seem that moment has finally arrived.

With major roles in three high-profile films set to open by the end of the year – the kinds of movies that get a lot of critics dropping words like Oscar buzz – in The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County and 12 Years a Slave – it’s not surprising that the actor kind of seems to be everywhere right now. Literally. This week, the actor landed the cover of the international version of TIME magazine, as well as a feature interview in which he discusses his rising fame and his recent string of breakout roles from Sherlock to Star Trek to Julian Assange.

So, fellow Sherlock fans, the moment is fast approaching when you can rub your friends’ faces in the growing popularity of “that British actor with the funny name” and say that you were a fan well before it was cool. (Does that make us all Cumberhipsters? Maybe?)

Read on for a bigger look at Cumberbatch’s TIME cover, as well as a look behind the scenes at his photoshoot for them.

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Has an Alan Rickman Impersonation Competition with Jimmy Fallon

 

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has been seemingly everywhere the past few days, promoting the upcoming release of his new drama The Fifth Estate, where he plays the notorious Julian Assange. While many of you will probably have some conflicting opinions (as I did) about the film itself, it’s hard to feel anything but giddy about all of Cumberbatch’s various promotional appearances, which have run the gamut from his standard default setting of charming to unbelievably fantastic.

Apparently Fallon and Cumberbatch both do an impersonation of British star Alan Rickman. So, of course, the two had to have a competition to compare their respective Rickman versions. And what better proving ground than the world of hip hop lyrics? Obvious, as Sherlock Holmes would say.

Yes, you read that right. Hip hop lyrics. Watch below. It’ll be the best thing you see all day.

Benedict Cumberbatch Responds to Julian Assange and More in the Best ‘Ask Me Anything’ Q&A Ever

 

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch did a Reddit AMA (otherwise known as an Ask Me Anything) on Friday afternoon, which was ostensibly meant to focus on his role as the notorious Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in upcoming drama The Fifth Estate.

After nearly two hours and thousands of questions from hundreds of eager fans, the topic had moved a bit further afield, covering the majority of Cumberbatch’s many roles, his favorite reading material, Halloween costumes, love of comedy and personal awkward celebrity encounters. It was basically the greatest thing that happened on the internet this week – from both the thoughtful and the silly sides of the spectrum.

Read on for details – including the actor's impassioned response to Fifth Estate criticisms from Assange himself.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Short Film ‘Little Favour’ to Get Worldwide iTunes release

It’s a day that ends in “y”, so it’s probably time to watch a preview for a new Benedict Cumberbatch project of some type. This is in no way a complaint, mind you. At all. We can do this everyday; it’s cool.

The Sherlock star’s latest is a new independent short film project, an action thriller entitled Little Favour. The film was made by production company SunnyMarch – a collaboration founded by Cumberbatch himself, along with friends Adam Ackland and Ben Dillon – and made headlines earlier this year by way of its super successful Indigogo public fundraising campaign. We’re talking £85,000 worth of successful, just so you know.

A brief teaser trailer was released a few weeks ago, and now a proper trailer has finally arrived, which you can watch below. (Spoiler: It looks amazing.) Best news of all, however, is probably the announcement that Cumberbatch fans around the world won’t have to struggle with how to see the film for themselves – a frequent problem in a global media marketplace.

Telly Visions Goes to the Movies: ‘The Fifth Estate’

Wikileaks drama The Fifth Estate has had plenty of buzz behind it ever since Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch was announced as director Bill Condon’s choice to play the infamous Julian Assange, founder of the controversial website, which was ostensibly meant to hold governments accountable for their actions by providing the public with access to confidential intelligence documents. As many of you probably already know, the story of Wikileaks goes well beyond that – and the real Assange remains a polarizing figure today for a variety of reasons.

Much like public opinion on its subject matter, film goers are likely to be similarly divided on how they feel about The Fifth Estate as a movie. There’s much to recommend it, but don’t be surprised if it leaves you strangely cold.

Benedict Cumberbatch in Talks to Do ‘Hamlet’ on the London Stage

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch starring in Hamlet in London? Sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, rumor has it that might be just what’s about to happen. So cross everything.

According to The Daily Mail’s theatrical columnist, Cumberbatch is in “advanced discussions” to return to the West End in the Fall of 2014, this time playing Shakespeare’s tortured Prince of Denmark. This would add the actor’s name to a distinguished list of modern Hamlets in recent years, which have included such stars as Ben Whishaw, David Tennant, Jude Law, Simon Russell Beale, John Simm and more.

Read on for what we know so far.

WATCH: Teaser Trailer for New Benedict Cumberbatch Short Film ‘Little Favour’

Because Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has seemingly been involved in literally every other kind of production this year (not that we’re complaining, mind), it should come as no surprise that he’s also got a new short film project on the horizon.

Called Little Favour, the independent action thriller pairs Cumberbatch with Harry Potter’s Nick Moran and Arrow’s Colin Salmon. It follows the story of Wallace (played by Cumberbatch), when is contacted by a former colleague to help him out with a deal gone wrong.

Watch the first teaser trailer for yourself below.

Filming Begins on Alan Turing Biopic ‘The Imitation Game’; Full Cast List Revealed

Filming officially kicked off this week on highly anticipated indie drama The Imitation Game, a drama that’s set to tell the story of British mathematician, cryptographer and all-around genius Alan Turing, who is credited with cracking the German enigma code during World War II. Sadly, however, despite his heroic efforts on behalf of his nation, Turing was prosecuted by the government for his homosexuality, underwent chemical castration as punishment and eventually committed suicide. It’s a terribly sad – and terribly moving – story that seems primed to be turned into an extremely compelling film.

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Turing, while Oscar-nominated actress Keira Knightley is set to star opposite him as Joan Clarke, Turing’s close friend and fellow codebreaker, with whom he had a complicated and lifelong friendship.

As for the rest of the cast, while we already knew that Downton Abbey star Allen Leech was set to take part – playing a Scottish spy – most of the other major roles had yet to be announced. With the official start of production, the full cast list for the film has been released – and it’s absolutely jam packed with British talent of all stripes.

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