Channel 4 has commissioned a new drama tentatively titled Brexit, exploring the data-driven political campaign behind the controversial government referendum, with Benedict Cumberbatch set to star.
The two-hour drama comes from screenwriter James Graham (Quiz, Ink, This House, The Vote, Tory Boyz, Coalition). Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Doctor Strange, The Imitation Game) stars as Dominic Cummings, the leading strategist and campaign director of Vote Leave.
Directed by the award-winning Toby Haynes (Black Mirror, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Sherlock), the one-off drama is set primarily during the referendum. It will explore, for the first time, the myriad tactics employed to swing one of the most surprising referendum results in modern history.
Graham said: “I’m so excited—not to mention a little nervous – to have this chance to try and get under the skin of what happened during that historic vote. I hope by going behind-the-scenes of the campaign, we’re able to interrogate the consequences of what happened during these eight weeks that have changed the country forever. To work with this incredible team and Channel 4 to bring this story to life on screen is a real honor.”
Beth Willis, the head of drama at Channel 4, added: “James’ whip-smart, funny and insightful writing is a breath of fresh air. We are so thrilled that he and the genius that is Benedict Cumberbatch feel Channel 4 is the right home for it—Brexit is exactly the kind of explosive and illuminating drama we want to have on the channel.”
Juliette Howell and Tessa Ross from House Productions commented: “We are thrilled to have Benedict at the center of James’ brilliant, searching response to the Brexit vote—James is a writer who is unafraid to ask difficult questions and has never stopped looking for uncomfortable truths at this complicated time in our history. And we’re hugely excited that Toby Haynes will be directing this film for Channel 4.”