According to The Hollywood Reporter, Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) will be starring in a new adaptation of the classic British novel Rogue Male written by Geoffrey Household. The British actor will also produce the Fox Searchlight project along with Lloyd Levin, Branwen Prestwood Smith and Beatriz Levin of Black Sheep Pictures and Adam Ackland of SunnyMarch, Cumberbatch’s production company. Victoria Nelson, will co-produce and Michael Lesslie (Macbeth) will pen the screenplay.
The story follows a Brit whose attempts to assassinate a dictator are foiled. After being caught and tortured, he escapes back to England with police and enemy agents in pursuit. Household, whose book was published in 1939, said the dictator was intended to be a stand-in for Adolph Hitler. The novel was previously adapted in 1940 for the big screen as Man Hunt starring Walter Pidgeon, and in 1977 for BBC TV starring Peter O’Toole.
Cumberbatch said, “I am thrilled both as an actor and producer to be working on bringing this most treasured of English novels to the big screen.” The Oscar-nominated actor and his production company are also developing the Gary Whitta script The War Magician for Studio Canal. Cumberbatch has been busy playing iconic characters including Sherlock Holmes, Hamlet (National Theater Live: Hamlet), Khan (Star Trek Into Darkness), and Smaug (The Hobbit trilogy), and will soon be seen as Doctor Strange, and heard as Shere Khan (in Andy Serkis’ upcoming Jungle Book), and The Grinch (How the Grinch Stole Christmas).