Tom Hiddleston will take over the starring role in Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak after Benedict Cumberbatch dropped out of the project last month. Hiddleston will join a cast that still includes Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), and Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) in what del Toro describes as both a ghost and a love story.
It is unlikely that the transition from Cumberbatch to Hiddleston will meet any difficulties; both are English actors currently known for playing cold, manipulative characters. Audiences know Cumberbatch as the titular character in the BBC’s Sherlock and from Star Trek Into Darkness. Meanwhile Hiddleston has starred as Loki in Thor, The Avengers, and the upcoming Thor: The Dark World. Most tellingly though, in an interview with BuzzFeed, Hiddleston mentioned that he spoke with Cumberbatch immediately after del Toro called and received Cumberbatch’s blessing to take over the role (it so happens that Hiddleston and Cumberbatch are good friends). Cumberbatch will have a busy schedule even without Crimson Peak. In addition to The Fifth Estate and 12 Years a Slave among many other projects, he is also hoping to join the cast of The Lost City of Z. There have also been rumors of Cumberbatch appearing in Star Wars: Episode VII, but nothing confirmed at this time.
Details on Crimson Peak remain scarce though del Toro has stated that it will be closer in tone to his Spanish films, such as Pan’s Labyrinth, than some of his higher profile work. Crimson Peak will begin shooting in January 2014 and is scheduled for release in April 2015. Legendary Pictures will distribute.