Early this morning in the UK, Channel 4 announced that award winning actor Benedict Cumberbatch will be starring in their miniseries about the Brexit campaign. Unofficially yet appropriately titled ‘Brexit,’ it is set to provide a dramatized look at the movement and the referendum that sent shockwaves throughout world politics.
Benedict Cumberbatch is set to portray Dominic Cummings, one of the chief strategists of the “Vote Leave” campaign that successfully persuaded millions of citizens of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. While Benedict Cumberbatch’s acting credentials are unquestionable with starring roles in projects such as Sherlock, The Imitation Games and Doctor Strange; and he does bare an uncanny resemblance to Cummings, the choice is still odd. This is for Cumberbatch was a vocal supporter of the ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ campaign (better known as the Remain campaign), and has advocated on behalf of Syrian refugees and opening up the UK’s borders. However, it would not be the first time a liberal has been responsible for portraying a high profile conservative Brit, as Meryl Streep portrayed Margaret Thatcher in the biopic The Iron Lady.
While no other actors have been cast, having a big name like Cumberbatch attached to the lead will attract other high profile actors and actresses to the project. The show has already attracted Toby Haynes, the director of the Black Mirror episode “USS Callister,” which many fans and critics have claimed was one of the best in the history of the show. The script is set to be written by James Graham, who has never written for the small screen. However, Graham has nearly two dozen plays and a film under his belt, so actors should be excited to work with him on his television debut.
Not only is Brexit a hot topic in the UK, but many analyst believe it was a precursor to the election of Donald Trump, and the various populist victories across the globe thereafter, such as in Italy, Hungary and Israel. In fact, many have speculated that Trump’s victory would have been impossible without the momentum gained from Brexit. As such, the series should also be popular in the United States, setting up an interesting competition between streaming companies to air the show in the US. An early favorite should be Netflix, as they have had a long running working with Channel 4, coproducing, reviving and exclusively broadcasting various Channel 4 series. They have also worked with Toby Haynes on Black Mirror, which had originally aired on Channel 4 until Season 2 ended. However, it is still possible Channel 4 may decide to give the rights to Amazon, as they had with Catastrophe and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams.
The show is set to air in early 2019.B