The charming smile, the curly hair, and the ever changing eyes like a crystal ball: just a few characteristics that paint the masterpiece picture that is Benedict Cumberbatch. After taking roles in 2011’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and War Horse, everyone’s been wanting a piece of “The ‘Batch”. Directors like J.J. Abrams and Peter Jackson have all gotten their hands on him for some big projects last year, and it’s fair to say that 2013 was definitely the year of the Cumberbatch.
In May, Cumberbatch found his way onto the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek Into Darkness. As a surprise to the folks at Star Fleet a run for their money with lots of butt-kicking action.
His next big screen roles followed into the year as he tackled playing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate, appeared in the Golden Globe winning biopic 12 Years a Slave, and blazed the trail for apparition-like creatures and CGI dragons by lending his voice as the Necromancer and the fearsome Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (did we mention he did the motion-capture?)
Given the last twelve months, television and movie screens alike were filled with the face of Cumberbatch. He made small screen appearances as himself on The Graham Norton Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, Top Gear, and even did an over-the-top lyrics reading while on Jimmy Kimmel Live (and by over-the-top we mean pretty bawdy).
Now that 2013 is over, what can we expect to see from him? Well, if he’s Benedict Cumberbatch, you know he’ll hit the ground running. He’s perhaps had the best possible start to his new year already. In cinemas, he starred alongside Oscar winning actresses Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County. And we can’t forget he reclaimed his deerstalker and magnifying glass on New Year’s Day to conquer the streets of London as Sherlock Holmes in the long anticipated premiere of Sherlock season 3, which saw record numbers in both the UK and the US. His role as the as the high-functioning sociopath detective landed him a nomination at the National Television Awards, where he beat out the likes of David Tennant and Idris Elba in the TV Detective category. In the style of Cumberbatch, he made quite the awkward acceptance speech via video in LA wearing a dapper tuxedo jacket and tasteful red beach shorts.
With the trends so far, we have a feeling that we won’t be seeing the last of Benedict just yet. Because Peter Jackson’s love for fantasy trilogies that deal with hobbits, we for sure know that he will be appearing in the final installation of the Hobbit film franchise come December.
Following in his footsteps of playing greats like Stephen Hawking and Vincent Van Gogh, he’ll also be appearing as mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game later this year. Turing, as some may recall, was one of the pivotal British figures in WWII because of his successful cracking of the Enigma code.
As a complete change in genre from his normal line of work, Cumberbatch will enter the realm of family-friendly cinema by lending his voice as a CIA agent in the Madagascar spinoff film Penguins of Madagascar (2015), as confirmed by The Wrap. Fans should keep in mind that just because it’s a children’s movie, it totally does not mean you have to be a child to see it.
Other projects in his near future are yet to be confirmed, but there has been a buzz of speculation nonetheless of what his next roles will be. If you’re looking for a Cumberbatch similar to the one in the short film Little Favour, you may be in luck. Variety has reported that he will soon star in the action-thriller Blood Mountain set to film in April.
At the other end of the spectrum, if you loved Mr. Cumberbatch’s sci-fi performance as “Khaaannn!” (in our William Shatner voice) you may not be so lucky to hear that he’s denied numerous times that he’ll be in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars VII.
“This is the simple truth. J.J. [Abrams] and I have worked together before. I would love to work with him again, No offer has been made. That is that. And that is that.” Cumberbatch said back in September to Access Hollywood. But seeing how Abrams had great chemistry with the Brit while filming Star Trek, we bet he’d cast Cumberbatch at the drop of a hat (because let’s be honest, he does a great Chewbacca impression).
There’s one phrase that is echoing throughout the halls of the universe: “We want more Cumberbatch!” With his plethora of roles so far, one could speculate what other roles and appearances Cumberbatch will be taking on in the years to come: A supposed fourth season of Sherlock? A three part spinoff of The Hobbit starring Smaug and Bilbo as crime solvers in Middle Earth? Whatever his plans may be for 2014 and onwards, we can only imagine they’ll be as great as the roles that have landed him Emmy and Golden Globe nominations so far. The game is on, Benedict! We’ll be waiting.