Monthly Archives: May 2015
James Rhodes, author of ‘Instrumental’ with his friend Benedict Cumberbatch outside the UK Supreme Court
James Rhodes, author of ‘Instrumental’ with his friend Benedict Cumberbatch outside the UK Supreme Court
Concert pianist James Rhodes (right) leaves the Supreme Court in London with actor Benedict Cumberbatch after winning the right to publish an autobiographical book
Wild rumors and the Marvel Cinematic Universe seem to go hand in hand. This fact is even more apparent when considering the cross-medium possibilities that have opened up, even beyond network TV, thanks to the spectacular success of Netflix’s Daredevil. However, according to one rumor, in particular, it could be the case that one of the MCU’s upcoming big-screen stars in Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange might be making his debut on the small screen beforehand.
A report from Bleeding Cool is making a rather bold claim regarding Benedict Cumberbatch, who stars in next year’s cross-dimensional collision, Doctor Strange. Reportedly, Marvel plans to unveil Cumberbatch’s character, Stephen Strange in an appearance of some kind on their upcoming Netflix series, Iron Fist. While the outlet admits to the unsubstantiated nature of the claim, it’s an intriguing angle that’s not exactly outside the realm of possibility.
While Marvel’s cinematic plans have substantive dates securely locked in for their theatrical releases all the way up to 2019, the TV universe on Netflix are operating on schedules that are more loosely penciled into place. Following the recently renewed Daredevil, Netflix will eventually get around to rolling out A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and The Defenders. However, in regards to Iron Fist, which is believed to be hitting sometime in 2016, the alignment could very well complement the release of Doctor Strange in the fall of that year. Thus, an appearance on the Netflix’s Iron Fist show could potentially serve as an exciting heralding for the film.
Interestingly enough, just as Thor proved so critical in introducing the cosmic theater to the MCU, Doctor Strange has been said to be the Marvel film that would essentially focus on the new-found elements of mysticism and multiple-dimensions to the MCU. However, this is an aspect that’s quite prevalent in the comic book origin of Iron Fist, whose hero, Daniel Rand is trained in a magic, mystical-based form of martial arts by inter-dimensional aliens with human-like appearance. If, indeed, the Netflix Iron Fist show makes its debut before the release of Doctor Strange, it might make sense to acknowledge this mystical Marvel connection that would potentially be introduced on the show, only to be greatly expanded in the Doctor Strange film.
In fact, the idea of a more coy television introduction of Cumberbatch’s future Sorcerer Supreme might actually corroborate recent comments from Marvel’s Head of Television, Jeph Loeb, who implied that the use of Easter Egg moments would consistently codify the connectivity of the Marvel properties; specifically to the Netflix shows. As precedence set by Daredevil dictates, the Marvel superheroes on the Netflix platform, referred to as “street level,” will operate within New York City fighting more conventional criminals. However, Doctor Strange also happens to call New York’s Greenwich Village his home and even the briefest of pre-powers street level cameos is hardly inconceivable for Cumberbatch, whose role on TV’s Sherlock makes him no stranger to the small screen.
For now, that all-too-familiar grain of salt with which rumors like this are treated is probably best considered. However, it does seem that Doctor Strange looks to be another watershed moment in terms of broadening the scope of the MCU. The Iron Fist series could very well serve as a primer of some kind to the inter-dimensional aspect of the continuity. An appearance by Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange would certainly help smooth the transition when Doctor Strange astrally projects its arrival at theaters on November 4, 2016.
Sir Ian McKellen and Orlando Bloom will also appear at the star-studded event.
Clowns, rejoice: The plush schnozz is about to become Hollywood’s fashion accessory of choice.
May 21 marks America’s first “Red Nose Day,” a live-entertainment event that recruits famous faces for a night of foolery and fundraising. Originating in the U.K., the annual escapade has raised more than $1 billion for charity over the last 30 years. NBC will air the first stateside “Red Nose Day,” a three-hour circus of musical performances, sketch comedy, and new videos produced by Funny or Die. The shorts are often high-caliber wish fulfillment; March’s U.K. show saw a James Bond-themed short film that paired Daniel Craig with Roger Moore.
Who should you expect at the show? Esquire can exclusively announce that Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Ian McKellen, and Orlando Bloom will be on hand, lending acting services to whatever hair-brained schemes Funny or Die has cooking. Just because “Red Nose Day” is jumping the Atlantic doesn’t mean the British aren’t coming with.
Joining the trio on “Red Nose Day” are the previously announced Will Ferrell, Jack Black, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Michelle Rodriguez, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Smith, John Legend, Matt Lauer, Carson Daly, Bill and Melinda Gates, Nick Offerman, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pine, Jeff Goldblum, Billy Eichner, Martin Short, Laura Linney, Anna Kendrick, and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.
Dollars earned from the “Red Nose Day” event will benefit 12 charity organizations that lift children and young people out of poverty, in the U.S. and throughout the world. Those interested in donating can pick up a red nose at a local Walgreens or Duane Reade store, or if you’re one of the aforementioned clowns that already wears one (we get it, you’re so cool, clown), NBC will offer plenty of ways to donate throughout the live-show.
Here’s William Shatner explaining more:
HE’S usually known for playing characters with more brains than brawn, but Benedict Cumberbatch will have to hit the gym for his new role as Doctor Strange, it has been reported.
However, on top of learning his lines and getting into character, Benedict is also honing his physique in order to fulfil comic fan’s ideals of the character.
A source told The Sun: “Doctor Strange was always muscly in the cartoons so Benedict has to look the part when they start filming in the autumn.
The publication added the Imitation Game actor is having sessions with a personal trainer, eating twice as many calories and knocking back protein shakes in a bid to add some muscle to his frame.
It’s not the first time the Oscar–nominated star has had to beef up for a movie role.
Naturally slender Benedict sculpted himself a ripped torso for his role as Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness in 2013.
“By the end I could do handstand press-ups, feet up against the wall, lowering my head to the floor and pushing up. It didn’t last long, but I could definitely do that for a week or two.”
It’s been a big year for the Harrow-educated actor, who – alongside a string of award nominations – married his girlfriend Sophie Hunter and announced they were expecting their first child.
In January, a spokesperson for the couple said: “I am delighted to confirm that Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter are expecting their first child. They are both over the moon.”
Father-to-be Benedict Cumberbatch sports low-key look as he embarks on afternoon outing without his wife Sophie Hunter
He’s eagerly awaiting the birth of his first child later this year.
And Benedict Cumberbatch was making the most of the bank holiday weekend to pay a visit to some friends in London on Sunday, while his pregnant wife Sophie Hunter rested at home.
The 38-year-old Sherlock actor was looking dapper as usual in his off-duty look as he headed off to meet his pals.
The Oscar-nominated actor is a true gent and came bearing gifts, carrying a small bag in his hand.
Benedict and theatre director Sophie, who tied the knot on Valentine’s Day, announced they were expecting a baby in January.
The intellectual actor opened up about fatherhood in during a press conference at the Chinese Grand Prix last month.
He cited fellow British thespians Daniel Day-Lewis, Mark Strong and Martin Freeman as role models of actors who are devoted to both their craft and their families.
‘They don’t limit it, they give you inspiration and depths of understanding of the human condition and what it is to be on this planet and what our purpose is, that goes well beyond anything a childless actor could hope for.’
He added: ‘I’m so excited to meet my child and it’s a huge part of my life and it’ll be the most important part of my life, as it should be.’
Star of BBC1 series gets fifth nomination at an awards ceremony dominated by crime dramas such as Happy Valley, The Missing and Line of Duty
Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch will look to break his Bafta duck on Sunday with his fifth nomination at an awards that are likely to be dominated by crime drama.
Cumberbatch, who stars in the hit BBC1 series opposite Martin Freeman, has been nominated more times than anyone else in the main categories at tomorrow’s awards, including three times for Sherlock, but is yet to win one.
The awards, the most prestigious of the UK television year, have seen multiple nominations for a handful of grim but critically acclaimed crime dramas including Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley and The Missing on BBC1, and Line of Duty on BBC2.
BBC3’s sleeper hit Murdered by My Boyfriend and ITV’s The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, both of them based on real life events, are each nominated twice.
Ben Stephenson, the BBC’s outgoing controller of drama commissioning, said crime drama was so popular because it was a “Trojan horse to allow writers to tell whatever story they wanted to tell”.
“It’s a catch-all term that belies the fact that drama relies on conflict and one of the most dramatic conflicts is people breaking the law in one way or another,” he said.
Stephenson, who will leave the BBC next week to join Star Wars director JJ Abrams’ production company Bad Robot, said the drama nominations were “not the most cheery list. Throughout literature, from Dostoyevsky and Dickens, it’s full of crime because it’s such a dramatic way into ultimately human truths”.
Two lighter but hugely popular dramas, BBC1’s Call The Midwife and ITV’s Downton Abbey, have, like Cumberbatch, never won a Bafta.
“It’s a bit of an anomaly, they are the biggest series in this country,” said Stephenson.
“Probably awards are more naturally predicated towards pieces that have a more serious tone. Possibly shows like that are slightly underestimated. They are so confident and look so simple but are actually incredibly difficult to put together.”
Downton Abbey maker Carnival Films is nominated for The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies with a best actor nod for the man who portrayed him with uncanny accuracy, Jason Watkins.
Gareth Neame, managing director of Carnival Films, said there was “nothing particularly confusing or unusual” about Bafta not recognising Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey, which has won multiple awards in the US and will return for one more series to ITV.
“Bafta has tended to recognise things for cultural and creative reasons and tended not to recognise shows with big audiences and where revenue has been generated. It’s very often the smaller thing that didn’t get a large audience or something that had a big cultural impact. There’s really nothing wrong with that,” he said.
“Jason’s nomination is typical of Bafta – he is not particularly a huge star but he is very, very respected and has given a great performance.”
Watkins will compete for the leading actor prize with Cumberbatch, The Missing’s James Nesbitt, and Toby Jones for his role in Peter Bowker’s Marvellous.
The leading actress category is arguably the strongest at this year’s awards, with Happy Valley’s Sarah Lancashire up against Line of Duty’s Keeley Hawes, Cilla star Sheridan Smith and Murdered by My Boyfriend’s Georgina Campbell.
The two stars of BBC2’s Rev, Tom Hollander and Olivia Colman, are both nominated in the comedy performance categories, where there are also nods for Matt Berry, star and co-writer of Channel 4’s Toast of London, and two stars of another BBC2 comedy, W1A, Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes.
Rev executive producer and chief executive of Big Talk Productions Kenton Allen, said the consequences of winning a Bafta was not comparable to a Brit award or an Oscar (which he has also won, for Martin McDonagh’s short film Six Shooter).
“It’s not like the Brits where you see a massive spike in downloads, it doesn’t have that sort of commercial impact,” he said.
“But I suppose when Rev won the Bafta for situation comedy in its first series it was significant in giving everyone involved the confidence to do it again but be bolder with it, and gave the channel which breathed life in it the confidence to do it again.
“Sadly it doesn’t mean you get paid more. Often it has the reverse effect.”
Hynes, who plays Siobhan Sharpe in W1A, is nominated for her fourth Bafta. Like Cumberbatch – there is a pattern emerging here – she hasn’t won one.
“I’m very happy with my status as a Bafta loser, I’m very comfortable with that,” said Hynes. “My approach is to genuinely enjoy it as much as possible. It’s lovely being in a room with so many people you know if you are not wearing uncomfortable shoes, I’m not making that mistake.
“It’s probably as bad winning as it is losing, it’s probably excruciating, particularly if you think, ‘oh, that other person should have won’. I’m thrilled to be nominated.”
Hynes gave a memorable acceptance speech at the Royal Television Society awards two years ago, a scene-stealing affair in which her phrase, “fuck film”, became a recurring theme of the night.
“I had been working so hard and not going out, I was living like a nun,” she remembered. “I arrived there and someone bought me a gin and tonic and before I knew it I was up on the stage. I thought, well, it’s not televised, let’s have fun and be a bit irreverent.”
Andrew Newman, chair of Bafta’s television committee, said the awards were “about looking at programmes in forensic detail”.
“Sometimes the most popular and perhaps in the public’s mind the most obvious show is the rightful winner,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s a show that perhaps not as many people have seen, a little bit quirky and original. It’s not about what is most popular or populist, it’s about what is the most brilliantly made show.”
You won’t have to wait much longer for more Benedict Cumberbatch, but his latest project isn’t exactly new. The Sherlock actor narrated Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis a few years ago, and now BBC Radio 4 Extra is airing it on Monday. The literary classic follows the story of a salesman who is transformed into a huge insect overnight. Don’t worry, if you missed the live broadcast, it will be available for streaming here. [The Independent]