Recently, the former star of Sherlock was asked if a return to the series was part of his future. He said that he was the worst person to ask because he really didn’t know. The actor says to never say never, but he also couldn’t see the role fitting into his schedule, which he said was really quite full. A quick glance at Benedict Cumberbatch’s schedule confirms that. While he seems to enjoy playing in a variety of dramatic films, he’s also part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Doctor Strange. That is bound to take up a fair amount of time for both filming and press tours.
The actor has found time for a new partnership with Netflix, though. Deadline has announced that Benedict Cumberbatch will star in The 39 Steps. This new series will be at least six episodes, though Deadline says it may be more. Each episode will be approximately in the hour-long range. The actor has signed on to executive produce the new limited Netflix series as well as star in it.
The 39 Steps will be an update on the 1935 classic. That movie was made by Alfred Hitchcock and is naturally very well-reviewed. It was based on the 1915 adventure novel The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. The Hitchcock film took place in London and followed a Canadian man on vacation who falls into an international spy ring that involves a mysterious 39 steps. The police believe he murdered a beautiful woman, so he is hunted by them while trying to clear his name and discover what’s going on. The new film starring Benedict Cumberbatch will be updated for modern times.
Recently, Benedict Cumberbatch starred in a historical drama called The Courier. That film was a period spy thriller, involving a British businessman and the Soviet nuclear program. In The Courier Cumberbatch’s character stood in the way during the Cold War. It hasn’t been confirmed that the remake of The 39 Steps will include spy elements, but if so, it sounds like similar fun to this recent project in that regard. Though, The 39 Steps says it will be updated for modern audiences, so it won’t be a historical drama as The Courier was.
Benedict Cumberbatch was most recently seen in The Mauritanian on Amazon Prime. He starred in that movie with Jodie Foster and Tahar Rahim. While historical, it was much more recent than The Courier. The Amazon movie followed the true story of a man wrongly impressed for years at Guantanamo Bay. Cumberbatch played the prosecuting lawyer, a military man who had a lot of hard truths to face.
Currently, we’re waiting to see Benedict Cumberbatch appear as Doctor Strange in Spider-Man: No Way Home for Marvel. That film is expected to release in December 2021. His movies The Power of the Dog and The Electric Life of Louis Wain are also expected to release in 2021. In 2022, we’ll finally be seeing his solo Marvel title, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. As for The 39 Steps, production hasn’t yet been scheduled. They’re hopeful that they will begin shooting in 2022 in Europe when schedules clear for all involved. That means we shouldn’t expect to see the new Netflix series until 2023 at the earliest.