We have yet to learn if there’s any truth to the buzz-worthy rumor that ubiquitous actor Benedict Cumberbatch will re-team with his Star Trek Into Darkness director J. J. Abrams in the Star Wars sequel, but the actor is having no problems finding steady work otherwise. Cumberbatch, soon to appear in Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate (playing controversial whistle-blower Julian Assange) which will open Toronto Film Festival, is in negotiations to star in The Lost City of Z. The film, which is being produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B shingle, tells the story of Percy Fawcett, who in the mid-1920s attempted to map the jungles of the Amazon. While plagued with malaria, Fawcett discovered a mythical city, which he called “The Lost City of Z.” When Fawcett returned to tell his tales of the enchantments he saw, he was scorned, laughed at and branded a fraud. He ventured back into the jungle in an effort to prove his tale and was never seen or heard from again. The story remains one of the great unexplained mysterious of the 20th century.
The Lost City of Z is based on the bestselling book by David Grann and will be written for the screen and directed by James Gray. Gray is the filmmaker behind such films as The Yards, Two Lovers and We Own the Night. He recently premiered his latest The Immigrant, a lush period film set in early twentieth century Manhattan, at the Cannes Film Festival. The Immigrant stars Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner and Marion Cotillard and will next be seen at the New York Film Festival. While it was acquired by The Weinstein Company, no U.S. release date has been announced.
While steady in building up his resumé with interesting collection of films, Gray hasn’t quite been able to break out stateside as of yet. He films have been more popular throughout Europe however, and he’s become an American mainstay in the competition selection of the Cannes Film Festival. The Lost City of Z, with its intriguing premise might help his further his cause.
Cumberbatch, on the other hand, has been more than prolific with four major films hitting this year alone. He broke out earlier this summer with his interpretation of the villainy Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, and has roles in The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County and 12 Years a Slave yet to come – all three of which are currently on the festival circuit. His distinctive voice will also be on display in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug coming this December. Then there’s that casting rumor that won’t subside until the “force” makes it official.