Benedict Cumberbatch Will Star in TV Adaptation of Edward St. Aubyn Novels

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From Sherlock Holmes to Patrick Melrose.

Benedict Cumberbatch is no stranger to literary adaptations, and now the star of Sherlock and Parade’s End is set to play the lead in Melrose, a five-part TV miniseries based on the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn.

According to Deadline, the series, a Showtime-Sky Atlantic co-production, will be written by David Nicholls, the British novelist who has adapted books such as Far From the Madding Crowd and Great Expectations for the screen. Each episode will correspond to one of St. Aubyn’s five Melrose novels: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother’s Milk, and At Last .

St. Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical novels chronicle the tragic, dizzying life of Patrick Melrose, a boy raised in a blueblooded family that’s as emotionally bankrupt as it is historically affluent. Patrick’s story certainly has the potential to make for compelling television: a monstrously abusive father, infidelity, a life of heroin addiction and hotel rooms, all set in locales from the 60’s South of France to New York City in the 80’s. And Cumberbatch, perhaps more than any actor working, seems well-equipped to capture the Melrose world of decadence, high culture, wit and emotional torment. It’s apparently a role he’s been after for quite some time. In a 2013 Reddit Q&A, Cumberbatch said that if he could play any literary character, it would be Patrick Melrose. Filming is set to begin this summer, which should put the premiere on target for 2018. In the meantime, the literary Internet will patiently await…wait, huh? This is Cumberbatch! Bring out the memes…

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