Benedict Cumberbatch, who starred in four Oscar-nominated movies this year, is set to return to the stage and play the title role of the Danish prince Hamlet in a revival of William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet" in London.
The new production is scheduled to open at the Barbican Theatre in London and run for 12 weeks, from August 2015 to October 2015. Lyndsey Turner is the director. Tickets are not yet on sale and more information will be announced on the venue's website, which crashed on and off after the news was announced on Wednesday, March 26.
"I'm thrilled to be producing 'Hamlet' with Lyndsey and Benedict and we are all delighted that the magnificent Barbican has agreed to present the show," producer Sonia Friedman said in a statement posted on the site. "Having recently produced Lyndsey's extraordinary production of 'Chimerica' in the West End, It is so great to be working with her again and it is a real privilege to be working with one of the most gifted and exciting actors of his generation, Benedict Cumberbatch, in the title role."
This marks the first stage role for the popular 37-year-old actor, best known for his role in BBC's "Sherlock," since he portrayed Victor Frankenstein and The Creature in Danny Boyle's 2011 production of "Frankenstein" in London's West End theatre district. Cumberbatch and co-star Jonny Lee Miller (who also plays Sherlock on the CBS show "Elementary"), who played the same part, won the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for their performances.
Cumberbatch has also performed in other plays in London's West End -- he played George Tesman in Sir Richard Eyre's 2005 revival of "Hedda Gabler" and David Scott-Fowler in a 2010 revival of "After The Dance." The actor also starred in other Shakepeare plays -- he portrayed the King of Navarre in the comedy "Love's Labour Lost" and Demetrius in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Regent's Park's Open Air Theatre in the city.
Benedict Cumberbatch's film roles, past and future
Cumberbatch, who has a massive fan following, especially in his native England, gained notoriety in the United States over the past year due to roles in the Oscar-nominated films "Star Trek Into Darkness," "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," August: Osage County" and "12 Years A Slave," the latter of which took home the award for Best Picture (see Benedict Cumberbatch and others reacting to the win in our Oscars 2014 - 17 Best Moments gallery).
The actor also has several more film projects in the works -- he portrays characters in the animated movies "The Penguins of Madagascar," set for release on March 27, 2015, and "Magik," due to hit theaters in 2016.
The UK newspaper The Daily Mail had reported in September 2013 that Cumberbatch was involved in "advanced discussions" with producer Sonia Friedman about playing Hamlet on a London stage in the fall of 2014.
(Pictured above: Benedict Cumberbatch walks the red carpet at the 2014 Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 2. Click on the image to watch the video.)