This is Incredibly Awesome

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.

How Exciting: Sir Ian McKellen to Play Sherlock Holmes!

In casting news that’s pretty much guaranteed to make you smile – and possibly wonder why this hasn’t happened before now – its official: The great Sir Ian McKellen is set to play Sherlock Holmes. McKellen will star in the film A Slight Trick of the Mind, a story about the legendary fictional detective that’s going to be quite different from almost anything we’ve seen before.

Based on the novel of the same name by Mitch Cullin, the story focuses on Holmes when he is 93, long-retired in Sussex and living with a housekeeper and her amateur-sleuth son. Holmes becomes haunted by an unsolved case from fifty years ago, of which he can only remember fragments: a confrontation with an angry husband, a secret bond with his beautiful but unstable wife. With the great detective’s legendary mind starting to go and without the help of his devoted sidekick Watson, it may be the toughest case of his life. Sound interesting? Read on?

WETA UK is Almost Here! Get the Details on Our Special Premiere Weekend Schedule Now

We’re officially under 48 hours until the launch of our new all-British channel WETA UK this weekend. I am so excited for this, you guys don’t even know. (Or maybe you do know, as I don’t think that I’ve been terribly subtle about my epic joy over this since we announced it.)

Anyway, to celebrate the launch of the new channel, there’s some special programming going on for the majority of the weekend, which I think some of you may want to check out. WETA UK will officially go live at midnight tomorrow night/12am Saturday morning. We’ll be kicking things off with the pilot episodes of 28 series in the line-up airing back-to-back-to-back. The June 2 schedule actually features 20 straight hours of pilot eps once it gets underway – and that’s before we do it all again on Sunday (get full details on that below).

This way, you can all sample a wide variety of the types of series WETA UK will offer, see what you like and plan your coming week accordingly. (Personally, I don’t think my DVR is equipped to handle this in any way, but I’m going to make a valiant effort.) The full schedule will go live on wetauk.org late tomorrow, so you can see when things will be airing in their regular timeslots. Or you can just shoot me your questions all weekend long and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.

Click through for a look at the full Premiere Weekend pilot marathon schedule for both Saturday and Sunday and start getting your viewing plan of attack ready now.

Watch the New Trailer for Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein; Encore US Screenings This Summer!

Due to popular demand, director Danny Boyle’s award-winning 2011 production of Frankenstein will return to cinemas worldwide this summer as part of this year’s National Theatre Live program. The play features Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch opposite Jonny Lee Miller (recently tapped to play the lead in CBS’ unfortunate upcoming Holmes adaptation), with the two actors alternating between the roles of the Creature and Victor Frankenstein during every other performance. The pair recently became the first in history to share the Best Actor prize at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards for their work in this production.

As you’ll see in the new trailer – which incorporates actual footage from the show – the play does a tremendous job using creative visuals to tell the story of Dr. Frankenstein and the monster he creates. If you missed out on seeing this production onstage or when it screened in cinemas last year, I cannot encourage all of you strongly enough to catch it this time around. It’s fantastic. (Personally, I’m partial to the Miller as Frankenstein/Cumberbatch as the Creature set-up, but both versions are brilliant.) Click through to take a look for yourself, and see how to find out screening information near you!

Amazing Internet Things: The Story Behind “Keep Calm and Carry On”

It feels like a pretty safe guess that most Anglophiles probably own a copy of the "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster somewhere. (I do!) Some of us probably even own a parody or two of this in some form (Mine is “Keep Calm and Don’t Blink.”) But how many of us actually know the history behind it this saying? Or when exactly this image became so famous?

Barter Books has created a wonderful short video about the history of the iconic “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster that’s well worth watching. It’s fun and will leave you with a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling afterward. Check it out after the jump!

The Great Sherlock Debate: Holmes in the 21st Century

Something exceptionally cool is going on in the UK right about now – the start of the Great Sherlock Holmes Debate! This event features leading Holmes experts from the UK, USA, and Australia facing off in an attempt to answer the question – Which Sherlock Holmes adaptation makes the best contribution to Holmes in the 21st century? These experts have been split into teams – originally this event was supposed to only feature supporters of BBC’s Sherlock adaptation versus loyalists of Guy Ritchie’s recent Sherlock Holmes film, but a third team has been added for the “Traditionalists”, who feel that the traditional adaptations (Jeremy Brett’s series, especially) still have an important impact on modern audiences. How awesome is this? I’m intensely jealous of all the folks who get to sit in the audience (apparently fans from 23 countries scored tickets) and watch this all go down. If you’re really interested in the particulars, you can learn more about the folks representing each team here and the debate on Facebook as well.

As, I’m sure most of you have probably guessed by now, I’m firmly on Team Cumberbatch BBC Sherlock personally. Not that I would disparage any of these other fine adaptations, as they both have strong merits of their own, and, really, I’m generally of the opinion that the world can’t have too many versions of Sherlock Holmes running ‘round it. (Hey, I watch House too. Or at least I did, until that whole weird Cuddy storyline happened. But that’s another blog post.)

There’s plenty to like and debate about with each team though, so click through for a run-down on each.

 

Six Free Episodes of Blackadder Available on iTunes This Week!

Rowan Atkinson has a new film hitting theaters this week, Johnny English Reborn, and in honor of its release, there's a really brilliant promotion going on. Did you love the comedy series Blackadder? Did you miss it, but are curious what all the fuss is about? Are you a huge Atkinson fan? Do you just love free downloadable TV?

Well, if the answer to any (or all) of those questions is yes, then run immediately to the iTunes store to snag your FREE download of the entire second series of Blackadder. Yeah, free as in to keep, not just rent. (I told you it was brilliant.)

The second series of Blackadder is set in the Elizabethan era, and features a fantastic guest turn from Miranda Richardson as the Queen herself. But, if you're interested, you'll have to hurry, as this particular promotion is only available until October 21st!

Cheers to BBC America's Anglophenia for the heads-up!

Pages