Benedict Cumberbatch to Star in TV Drama 'The Child in Time'

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Benedict Cumberbatch

The 'Sherlock' star will also executive produce the adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel being produced by Pinewood TV and Cumberbatch's own SunnyMarch TV.

While the future of Sherlock may be unclear, Benedict Cumberbatch has reaffirmed his relationship with the BBC and Masterpiece, boarding the adaptation of Ian McEwan's The Child in Time as both star and executive producer. 

The project — a one-off 90-minute drama — is the first TV commission for Pinewood Television and Cumberbatch's own SunnyMarch TV banner, which will produce for BBC One with Masterpiece co-producing. 

Adapted by Stephen Butchard (Five DaughtersThe Last Kingdom) from McEwan’s Whitbread Prize-winning novel, and directed by Julian Farino (MarvellousEntourage), The Child in Time is a lyrical and heart-breaking exploration of love, loss and the power of things unseen. Cumberbatch — who rose to fame in the adaptation of McEwan's Atonement — will star as Stephen Lewis, a successful writer of children's books, who is confronted with the unthinkable: the loss of his child.

"I read the novel years ago and it stayed with me — profound, beautiful and very moving. Only Ian McEwan could write about loss with such telling honesty," said Cumberbatch. "We’re very excited to have Stephen Butchard’s subtle and brilliant adaptation, and in Julian Farino we have an extraordinary director who delivers emotional truth. I'm so proud The Child in Time will be the first drama produced by SunnyMarch TV.” 

Added Pinewood Television’s creative director Helen Gregory: “I am delighted to be bringing Stephen’s beautiful adaptation of The Child in Time to the screen in collaboration with such huge talents as Julian Farino and Benedict.”

The Child in Time was commissioned by Piers Wenger, controller BBC drama commissioning and Charlotte Moore, director BBC content. Exec producers are Gregory for Pinewood Television, Cumberbatch, Adam Ackland and David Boulter for SunnyMarch TV, Lucy Richer for the BBC, Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece and Butchard.

On behalf of StudioCanal, Rola Bauer secured the international rights and partnered with Eaton for Masterpiece. StudioCanal acquired 20 percent of SunnyMarchTV last year and will provide studio services while also repping worldwide sales.