Is Benedict Cumberbatch stealing a plum, Oscar-bait role away from Leo DiCaprio?

How is it that I’ve never seen some of these photos before? For whatever reason, I chanced upon Benedict Cumberbatch’s fansite and I hit upon the motherlode of Cumby Twitter pics. Note: Cumby does not have a Twitter (that anyone knows of) but his friends are all on Twitter and they post photos of him. A lot! Go here to see more. I’m enjoying the Ewan McGregor photo and of course the baby photos. Sweet Cumberbatch. I will get you pregnant some day. I mean… wait, what? Mm. Cumby.

Anyway, did you know that The Batch is in the midst of STEALING a role away from Leonardo DiCaprio? Now that I’ve got your attention, I guess I should admit that I think Leo has probably passed on this film, maybe because he’s “taking a break”. Because even though The Batch is King of All, most studios consider Leo to be WAY above Cumby. Anyway, the role sounds amazing, and it sounds like something Cumby would be amazing in.

EXCLUSIVE: Benedict Cumberbatch‘s next high-profile role looks like it will be playing English mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Graham Moore’s heralded screenplay that went from Warner Bros to Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures. Headhunters helmer Morten Tyldum recently signed on to direct, and I hear it will be Cumberbatch (he’s in deep conversations but hasn’t yet signed a deal) who plays the genius most responsible for cracking the German “Enigma Code” during World War II that helped the Allies stave off defeat, and who would later be prosecuted by Britain in the early 1950s for being a homosexual.

This is the 2011 Black List script that originally got set at Warner Bros with Leonardo DiCaprio expected to star. In what seems shocking today, the hero was forced to make a radical choice, and he chose chemical castration over prison. He was so demoralized that he eventually committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple. Black Bear is fully financing. With the helmer and Cumberbatch, I can’t imagine some distributor will jump on this Oscar-bait undertaking.

The script originally sold in a seven-figure spec deal to Warner Bros, when it appeared that Leonardo DiCaprio was interested in starring. The studio put J Blakeson on the project, but the deal had a quick trigger and the rights reverted back to the screenwriter, who then got the job of adapting The Devil In The White City for Warner Bros, which is being crafted for DiCaprio to play serial killer Dr. HH Holmes.

Cumberbatch, who came on the scene in the British series Sherlock, might be the hottest actor to cross the pond in recent memory. He’s currently playing Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate for DreamWorks, and is in the midst of The Hobbit trilogy (he plays a role and also voices Smaug the dragon); he’s got a big villain turn in Star Trek Into Darkness, and also stars in Twelve Years A Slave and August: Osage County.

[From Deadline]

This sounds like an amazing role for Cumby, and yes, it would totally be Oscar-bait. If he signs on, I’m assuming this would be a 2014 release, which means that Cumby’s turn as Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate would be pushed for the awards season later this year (it has a December release) and then Cumby would be doing another awards season the following year. Plus, he’ll be showing off his box-office bona fides in Star Trek and The Hobbit. Plus, as soon as he finishes filming The Fifth Estate, I believe he’s supposed to shoot Sherlock, right? THE ERA OF CUMBERBATCH. We are truly living in a gilded age of Cumby. Love it!

Photos courtesy of Twitter, Cumby’s fansite.

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83 Responses to “Is Benedict Cumberbatch stealing a plum, Oscar-bait role away from Leo DiCaprio?”

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  1. T.Fanty says:

    Oh my god. Ewan and Cumby. I’ve gone a little dizzy.

    (not to mention Simon Pegg, who is my total twitter crush)

    ETA: Did you see the new ad for Star Trek? “I am better. At Everything.” Ohhhhhh, yes.

  2. allons-y alonso says:

    The year of The Batch.

    Good for him. And by good for him for getting lots of roles, I mean good for us because that voice of his is pure sin XD

  3. Tish says:

    That photo with the elephant is freakin’ adorable!!! And why are we not talking about that Star Trek Superbowl Trailer?!


    Anyway, is he going to get the best scripts from now on?

  4. Astrid says:

    Hmmm good looking men holding babies – love!

  5. Tish says:

    That man looks like he is 25, I swear.

  6. Ms Kay says:

    Er… Okay but it’s not like Leo is going to cry over that one possibly lost role is it? Dude has given plenty of Oscar worthy performances nominated or not so he’d probably give Cumberbatch a pat on the back, give his blessing and go sip a glass of champagne or two with a VS catalogue girl, and then come back to promote his last film and get perhaps another award nod..

    • Tish says:

      I think he is passing because he knows a Brit hero deserves to be portrayed by a Brit actor. And he is doing the “edgier” Holmes serial killer biopic anyway, which interestingly enough is from the same screenwriter who wrote The Imitation Game.

  7. Bored suburbanhousewife says:

    Batch is a more plausible choice for a genius idiosyncratic British mathematician and a logical screen successor to Derek Jacobi and John Castle who did the role on the stage.

    He looks like such a nice normal guy in these pix. I note some were taken by Lara Pulver & she’s in a few. Wish they were an item. They had real chemistry in Scandal in Bohemia. Sigh.

  8. notforleo says:

    I love how that baby is giving him side-eye in the first photo!

  9. Cathi says:

    I am sorry girls, I do NOT see it

  10. hoopjumper says:

    I love the way the article says, “In what seems shocking today” as though there weren’t people who were shocked and appalled at the time. Yike. Still, it is amazing how much things have changed…

    Cumby seems like a great choice, he’s so so good at playing smart people.

  11. Faye says:

    Slightly off-topic, but I *love* how the baby is giving Cumby the side-eye in the first pic. You can practically hear him saying, “you ain’t all that.”

    I’m glad Cumby is doing well, but selfishly, I’m annoyed at how long it’s going to take to get another season of Sherlock. Who knows when it will come out at this rate!

  12. T.C. says:

    I think Leo passed on this. He signs on to many, many projects each year but then passes them to someone else. He only works with big name established directors another clue he passed this on. Sounds perfect for Cumby though. It would fit him better than Leo.

  13. MissMary says:

    Leo passed on this ages ago. Besides, BC would do a FAR better job, and not just b/c he’s British. Gods bless Leo but there’s no way he could pull of Alan Turing w/o chewing scenery.

  14. Seagulls says:

    I don’t find him particularly attractive, but he’s a good actor and I like watching him.

  15. Mia 4S says:

    That photo with Simon Pegg is from the epic Pegg/Cumby/Chris Pine/Zach Quinto road trip that took place at the end of filming. Google it if you are having a bad day, it’s awesome!

    That role sounds fascinating but there are not enough words to say how excited I am for Star Trek!!

  16. daz says:

    The baby looks pissed that Benedict Cumberbatch is trying to grab all the attention

  17. Ashley says:

    Gorgeous, sexy man. This is definitely shaping up to be his year and I couldn’t be happier. I do wish they would hurry up with the next season of Sherlock, though.

  18. Miss Jupitero says:

    I think I’m signing on with the Batch. He’s going places, looks good with babies, looks good period, and doesn’t annoy me. (Unlike certain other British actor).

    • Laura says:

      Im guessing you’ve never read any of his interviews then. He’s a pretentious twatface who doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut.

      • Tish says:

        LOL! Hiddleston is way more annoying, IMO. And right now, is trying to be as relevant as his contemporaries but failing big time. I wonder what pathetic stunt his publicist is planning next.

      • Laura says:

        Why do Cumberbatch fans always bring up Hiddleston and vice versa? No one even mentioned that other guy. They’re both pasty ugly dudes who are adored by lonely female Anglophiles.

      • T.Fanty says:

        His interviews are great! He’s well-educated, slightly bitchy, seems quite impatient with stupid questions and has no filter. That adds up to a great read.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        I have not read *any* of his interviews, which I reckon is to my advantage. I’m going purely on Sherlock, these pics, and my anticipation of star trek. You might all be laughing at me later when the Disappointment Phase kicks in.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Hiddleston: His Twitter feed is now mostly UNICEF sound bytes, and his fandom his desperately fawning and trying to impress him.

        I did some asking around in my nonprofit circles, and it confirmed what I thought in my gut was true– this was a *highly* managed well controlled publicity campaign which grew out of the celebrity studded If Campaign (pictures of starving children playing against loud techno music at the opening event anyone?) If it helps UNICEF, great, but it makes Hiddleston look opportunistic.

      • T.Fanty says:

        Miss J,

        That’s kind of my feeling on Hiddles, too. I don’t doubt that he has good intentions – he seems sincere enough (although occasionally to the point of saccharine)- but it feels a little exploitative, as though designed to cultivate this saint-like persona his fans deify. Whoever is marketing him is trying to sell him like they would a member of a 90s boy band, which I think is a pity, as he is potentially so much more interesting. Right now, he’s looking at being an it-boy for a year, then fading away. Cumby, on the other hand, is clearly trying to build himself a career. He’s one romantic comedy away from being the new Colin Firth.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        @Tfanty, you just hit, absolutely HIT exactly how I feel.

        Cumberbatch is focused on his ACTING, and is building a really solid career. I can forgive the obnoxious personality if the work impresses me.

        Hiddleston should stop wasting his time pandering to his embarrassingly syncophantic fandom, and get to work rustling up some solid roles. Loki isn’t going to cut it. The Jarmusch film sounds very promising, but I am really wondering at this point if he has the same acting chops or professional reputation Cumberbatch has. He needs to WORK.

        I should probably avoid all Cumberbatch interviews given what everyone is saying. Thank God he knows better than to Twitter. We cannot all be Simon Pegg ya know.

      • T.Fanty says:

        I like the cut of your jib, Miss J. That’s why I don’t think Cumby interviews would kill your biscuit-tingles. There’s kind of a train-wreck quality to them that comes from a smart person not quite knowing how to respond to dumb questions. It’s strangely endearing. To be honest, I think that because he’s posh and has a ridiculous name, that some people are going to think he’s a twat no matter what he says.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        “His interviews are great! He’s well-educated, slightly bitchy, seems quite impatient with stupid questions and has no filter. That adds up to a great read.”

        I appreciate people who say exactly what they really feel. Down with filters I say. It gives the guy some reality, and makes me feel a lot better about being such a bitch here in these forums. Dishing it out is much more fun when you feel like the other person could cheerfully dish it right back.

      • Laura says:

        Hiddleston? Cumby? God listen to yourselves. NO ONE MENTIONED HIDDLESTON. Why are you talking about him?

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        In the words of Firefly, “Man walks down the street in that hat, people know he’s not afraid of anything.”

        If he can walk through the Vale of Tears that is the movie biz with THAT name and emerge triumphant…. Hey my hat is off to him.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Laura, Laura! You expect order and linearity on this website? Tut, tut!

        So a Hiddleston sock from another thread just got into Cumberbach’s dryer. It’s all part of the fun!

      • T.Fanty says:


        One of the things that CB (across the board) loves talking about is how people market themselves. And when you talk about Brit actors who got hot in the last year or so, Hiddles comes up as an inevitable comparison to Cumby because he has taken SUCH a divergent path.

      • andrea says:

        Speaking of Hiddleston’s UNICEF adventure, was I the only one annoyed by some of his pictures from the trip? As much as his heart is in the right place and I’ve always believed that a good deed is a good deed even if it has some opportunistic undertones, Hiddles was playing to the camera like his British Equity card depended on it. Oh, but of course his fandom is eating it all up and parting with their weekly allowance to please him. It seems they’ve turned him into their personal celebrity boytoy, and that full-grown man is allowing them to do it.

        To keep this reply on-topic, I will say that Cumberbitch does seem far less filtered and uninterested in becoming the new It Boy. He may soon enough reveal himself to be one of the “Excuse me, but I am an artist!” types but for now, I will continue to enjoy that irritated face he gets when asked silly questions.

      • Gemini08 says:

        I disagree completely- and I’ve read TONS of his interviews. He has a biting sense of humor which people tend to take seriously. But I have a biting sense of humor as well so I get it.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        I would really welcome the “I am artist!” type response to some of the inane questions reporters sometimes ask. It sounds refreshingly honest to me, and I kind of like people who don;t care too much about what other think.

        I haven’t read any of his interviews but maybe I will look them up.

      • Lauli says:

        I can’t choose between Hiddles and Batch: I love them both. And I’m not annoyed at Hiddles’ charity work because I believe Tom’s commitment is genuine. I get angry only when I feel manipulated or fooled and this, IMHO, is not the case.
        I like that Batch, sometimes, “doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut”: it’s refreshingly honest, I’m so fed up with all that boring “PR ruled” interviews.
        Btw, I’m not a lonely female anglophile. I’m a twenty something, lucky enough to have a TDH (a natural one not dyed, LOL)boyfriend who loves me, only God knows why.

    • Gabbo says:

      @Miss Jupitero – I just googled Hiddleston’s trip to Guinea for Unicef and it has only been mentioned in one newspaper – this hardly counts as a ‘highly publicised’campaign, does it? Only if you were a Hiddleston twitter stalker would you have even known about this trip.

      • Roberta says:

        Exactly, it’s mainly Twitter. Don’t go on Tumblr whatever you do…

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Hi Gabbo, I m sorry I offended you. I am not a Twitter stalker. If you go up and reread what I wrote (I might not have been clear enough and I may have mispoken) the big well publicized campaign I referred to was not Hiddleston’s trip per se, but the If Campaign in the UK (of which Hiddleston’s trip was a part) which is huge, very well publicized, very much in the news and very, very celebrity heavy.

        It’s a laudable campaign, I support it, and I hope it succeeds in its goals, but just so you know: it is very much in the headlines, not just on Twitter.

        At the risk of going further off topic, here is an article about their big kick off party:

        Sorry if I did not make that clear enough, and apologies for going off topic again. I plead that mot of my comments on this thread have in fact been about Cumberbatch, but I could not help responding to some of the responses.

    • MaryMagdalena says:

      Miss Jupitero

      Well that’s an awful lot of time you spend on some actor that annoys you.

      The whole “highly managed/publicized” UNICEF campaign trip happened on the UNICEF blog and his twitter feed, which one would know about mostly if they follow him, because frankly outside the tumblr/twitter world I didn’t hear much about that trip? It was hardly mentioned anywhere.

      And as far as I know it’s not a Cumberbatch vs Hiddleston competition, to each their own career path, but just because the latter went onto a charity trip that doesn’t make him any less of an actor than the former, considering that 2012 was quite full between a massive Avengers promo tour, Hollow Crown, filming Jarmusch and Thor almost back to back to finish last December, and it’s only February so it’s a bit passionate here for a reaction such as “he needs to WORK” don’t you think? Now what he does with his crazy fandom he’s a big boy to know what he does whether it’s overindulge them or else, that’s his business, no matter the consequences.

      Back to the topic; Cumberbatch is a fantastic actor and I’m glad he’s getting the recognition. Good that Leo gave up the role, not that he couldn’t have don’t it but it’s good to have an upcoming talented actor (Brit or no Brit) doing it rather than a huge A list name as per usual.

  19. GeeMoney says:

    I wish the haters would just shut it already. Cumberbatch is wonderful (although I will admit, he’s a little whiny).

    That Star Trek into Darkness trailer was AWESOME at the Super Bowl. The sight of Benedict made me squeal with delight!

  20. valleymiss says:

    I finally figured out why I cannot and do not find Cumberbatch attractive. It’s because I realized who he reminds me of. Think of “American Pie.” Think about the dorky nerd guy who thinks he’s super smooth with the ladies and even, IIRC, tells the other guys he bagged a beautiful girl in their high school, but again, IIRC, we find out he never had sex with her, but was just bragging to impress Stifler, etc. Cumberbatch looks too much to me like: The SHERMINATOR!


  21. Queen says:

    This guy has the worst fans in the world.

  22. Bibs says:

    Why does he look so old for his age? He and mcgregor must be like a decade apart but they look the same age.

  23. Agnes says:

    love that baby’s side-eye, hahaha!

    btw, if anyone is interested, read up on turing – he’s fascinating. the british gov forced him to have hormone injections (to “cure” him of being gay) and he killed himself by eating a poison apple. allegedly the apple (computers etc) symbol, an apple missing a piece, is a tribute to him.

  24. d says:

    I agree that in reality DiCap most likely passed, but glad BCumberbatch is playing that role. I’ver always liked him in everything I’ve seen him in and he feels fresh as an actor anyway. DiCap now feels too “old”…not age, but in an old cigarettes and booze kind of way. And old school talent maybe? Anyway, not as interesting as Cumberbatch. To me anyway. It’s all subjective.
    I particularly liked Cumberbatch in The Last Enemy, a tv series from 2008. That was an awesome show.

  25. Madriani's Girl says:

    I just do not see any attraction in this guy. He is so odd-looking.

  26. EscapedConvent says:

    I hope this happens because I think Cumbs is a perfect fit for this role. A brilliant English mathematician who cracks the Enigma code? Cumby will play the hell out of that. Besides, the Enigma Code story is one of the greatest, most suspenseful stories I’ve ever heard & I always love hearing more about it.

    I think Cumby is right on the threshhold of being able to get almost any part he wants. There are lots of things he won’t be suited for, of course, like any actor. But he is so believable because of his chameleon quality that allows him to melt into his characters. He is building a fantastic body of work.

  27. lindylou says:

    As a relative newbie to the Cumberbatch appreciation I have to say I love his attitude bitchyness and all because in candid stuff like the twitter pics above he genuinely seems like a fun, cool guy and I havent heard a bad word about him from people hes worked with, anything negative comes from gossip sites who are determined to hate him *coughLaineycough*. He seems to appreciate and even be a little taken aback by some of the enthusiasm he gets but knows not to pander to it and overstep the mark or put up with people that do. I respect that.