Although he’s been acting for the better part of a decade, Benedict Cumberbatch seems to have exploded to everyone’s attention last fall in the BBC Sherlock, as a modern day incarnation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous consulting detective Sherlock Holmes. Part of that show’s success is Cumberbatch’s on-screen chemistry with Martin Freeman, who plays Dr. James Watson. Freeman, as we know, is starring in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, though he is currently on a break from the film’s production in New Zealand to shoot the second season of Sherlock in England. And it looks as if the two may be reunited in The Hobbit.
Last night at the BAFTA TV awards in England, Freeman reportedly told reporters that Cumberbatchhad been cast in The Hobbit though he didn’t say in what role.
Brendon Connelly over at Bleeding Cool, who reported Freeman’s comment, seems to think it likely that Cumberbatch will be playing an elf, and I have to admit that he’s certainly got the look for one. However, I don’t believe that Jackson has cast someone to play Bard of Laketown, the archer who kills the dragon Smaug towards the end of the book. Cumberbatch might not strike anyone as the strong, strapping physical type for the role but I think he has a commanding presence that could carry him in it. And besides, how great would scenes be between him as Bard and the recently cast Stephen Fry as the Master of Laketown?
Cumberbatch has also filmed a role in the upcoming adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with Gary Oldman as spymaster George Smiley which should be out sometime next year.