Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Richard III

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The BBC Two adaptation is being produced by Neal Street Productions and directed by Dominic Cooke.

Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast as Richard III in a forthcoming production of the Shakespearean play for BBC Two. The adaptation is set to be directed by Dominic Cooke (National Theatre Live) and adapted by Ben Power

"I can't wait to work with Dominic Cooke again to bring this complex, funny and dangerous character to life for the BBC and Neal Street Production's peerless series of Shakespeare's History plays," the actor said in a statement. 

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The adaptation is part of a series of plays titled The Hollow Crown, which previously included Richard II and Henry V. As part of Sunday's announcement, a two-part production of Henry VI is in the works for BBC Two, also to be directed by Cooke. 

The film will be a co-production between Neal Street Productions, Carnival/NBCUniversal and WNET. American Beauty director Sam Mendes, along with Pippa Harris and Nicolas Brown, will serve as executive producers for Neal Street. 

In addition to portraying Richard III, the Sherlock actor was also recently cast as the title character in Hamlet for a Lyndsey Turner-directed adaptation of the play set to be staged in London in August 2014.