Saturday, April 18, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch Wanted to Play David Bowie in Stalled Freddie Mercury Biopic

By Alison Herman on Apr 17, 2015 12:00pm

The Freddie Mercury biopic has been stuck in development hell for nearly a decade. Until yesterday, the most recent update Queen fans had to go on was the news that Sacha Baron Cohen had not signed on to write, produce, direct, and star in the film; manager Jim Beach had simply said so at the Artist and Manager Awards on March 26 as what Brian May called a “small joke.” Now that Wikileaks has made last year’s leaked Sony emails publicly available, however, there’s some new information on a certain hopeful costar — and Amy Pascal’s blind adoration for “Under Pressure.”

The now-deposed chairperson of Sony’s Motion Pictures Group evidently met with Sherlock star, whitewashed Star Trek villain, and biopic favorite Benedict Cumberbatch in January 2014. A follow-up email from Tracey Jacobs, a partner at the United Talent Agency and co-head of its talent department, has the same found-poetry style that makes so many of the hacked emails such a bizarrely entertaining read (emphasis ours):

Benedict loved you.
Hed be right for cleopatra and god knows what else.  He mentioned something about bowie.
He loved you.  And you? Xo

That would presumably be the same Cleopatra, starring Angelina Jolie, that was at the center of one of the more memorable exchanges of the Sony leak. While Pascal and producer Scott Rudin’s thoughts on that project are well known, Cumberbatch wanting in on the Mercury film is news. The actor has, however, expressed a desire to play the musician before; less than three months after his meeting with Pascal, he described Bowie as his dream role in an interview with British Airways’ in-flight magazine, High Life:

The hardest character to play? WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. ‘There is such moral ambiguity there. Also, he wouldn’t meet me although we had an email relationship to try to get his perspective.’ The character he’d most like to play? ‘David Bowie.’

Take a moment to appreciate that a conversation about the man who played WikiLeaks’ founder onscreen ended up on… WikiLeaks, then let’s get back to the emails.

Pascal then passed on the news in an email to Graham King, a producer of several Martin Scorsese films, including Gangs of New York and The Departed, as well as Argo and World War Z. She memorably refers to Cumberbatch as “cum batch,” an abbreviation that manages to be funnier than anything this parody name generator could come up with:

Benedict cum batch wants to play bowie
Graham’s response was… less than enthused. In fact, he seems to assume that Pascal hasn’t even read the script, penned by The Queen and Frost/Nixon writer Peter Morgan! Burn!:

He’s not a character in script.
Let’s talk after you’ve had a chance to read it.

read more here:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch stars in new ad for MG Cars

By Katie Nelson in News on Apr 13, 2015 7:00 PM


Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is the latest celebrity to endorse Chinese-owned MG Cars' newest SUV model.

Cumberbatch, aka China's "gay erotic god", also appeared at a car-testing event in Shanghai on Saturday to promote the new vehicle, simply called the GTS in China.

The actor's most famous on-screen character has become known as "Curly Fu" among fans in the country, who last year appealed to UK Prime Minister David Cameron via Weibo in an attempt to get their beloved Sherlock back on the air after a long recess.


Mark Strong and Penelope Wilton scoop top prizes at Olivier Awards 2015

By Huw Fullerton and Kasia Delgado
Sunday 12 April 2015 at 10:28PM

Mark Strong and Penelope Wilton scoop top prizes at Olivier Awards 2015

Downton Abbey's Penelope Wilton and veteran film actor Mark Strong have topped the list of winners at this year's Olivier Theatre Awards, winning Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively.

Wilton was honoured for her critically-acclaimed portrayal of the mother of German lawyer Hans Litten – the man who put Hitler on the witness stand in 1931 – in Mark Hayhurst's Taken At Midnight, while Strong won his accolade for playing troubled dock worker Eddie Carbone in the revival of Arthur Miller's 1950s-set A View from the Bridge.

Other screen stars making waves at Britain's biggest theatre awards were Murder She Wrote actress Angela Lansbury, whose return after nearly 40 years to the UK stage in Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit earned her a Best Supporting Actress gong. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries' Nathaniel Parker won Best Supporting Actor for playing Henry VIII in the theatre production of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.

Still, not all the big-name nominees were so lucky – Strong beat James McAvoy, Richard Armitage and Tim Pigott-Smith in the Best Actor category, while Wilton was up against hotly-tipped Gillian Anderson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Imelda Staunton. Elsewhere, Gemma Arterton and Nicole Scherzinger were beaten to the Best Actress and Supporting Actress in a Musical by Katie Brayben and Lorna Want from Carole King-based musical Beautiful.


Who’ll win Poldark’s heart? Love triangle is building to a climax

PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sat, Apr 11, 2015

Captain Ross Poldark and his childhood sweetheart Elizabeth

Captain Ross Poldark and his childhood sweetheart Elizabeth

Swoonsome Sunday night period drama Poldark has all the ingredients of a sure-fire hit: ridiculously attractive cast members, beautiful, wild Cornish seascapes and a compelling love triangle at its heart, driving the action forward.

So, it’s no wonder that the series – based on Winston Graham’s acclaimed novels – has attracted in excess of 6.5 million viewers each week since it began in early March.

Now, with just three episodes left in the series, the question on everyone’s lips is whether its darkly handsome protagonist Captain Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) will remain faithful to his flame-haired former kitchen maid wife Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson), or be swayed by his childhood sweetheart Elizabeth (Heida Reed).

“I think Ross and Demelza are very similar personalities and along the way she makes Ross notice that his relationship with Elizabeth would never have worked as they are not alike,” reflects actress Eleanor, 22.

“Ross and Demelza are cut from the same rock; Demelza is equally as fiery as Ross and puts him in his place, but at the same time they just understand each other’s moods.”

Indeed, in recent weeks viewers have seen Poldark find true happiness with Demelza. He declared his love for her, saying that she was his saviour, and last week the birth of their daughter, Julia, brought them even closer together.

Yet he still finds himself inexplicably drawn to his former love, Elizabeth, going as far as telling his cousin Verity (Ruby Bentall) that he would be happiest if he could have them both


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spooky first trailer for Timothy Spall and Matthew Macfadyen drama The Enfield Haunting

By Ben Dowell
Sunday 12 April 2015 at 09:00PM

Spooky first trailer for Timothy Spall and Matthew Macfadyen drama The Enfield Haunting

Are you ready to be scared?

Here is the first look at new Sky Living drama The Enfield Haunting – and it may send a chill down your spine.

Starring Mr Turner's Timothy Spall alongside Ripper Street actor Matthew Macfadyen, the drama explores the supposedly genuine haunting of a small house in north London in the late 1970s.
Spall's character Maurice Grosse is a paranormal researcher drawn to the house on Green Street in Enfield after the tragic death of his daughter in a motorcycle accident.

He is joined in his quest to investigate the strange incidents at the address by his wife Betty, played by Truly, Madly, Deeply and The Village star Juliet Stevenson.