Cumberbatch to Star in The Child In Time Adaptation for BBC, Masterpiece


LONDON: Benedict Cumberbatch is starring in and executive producing an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s The Child In Time for BBC One and Masterpiece.

Adapted by Stephen Butchard (Five Daughters, The Last Kingdom), the 90-minute drama marks the first television commission for Pinewood Television and SunnyMarch TV. Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Parade’s End) will star as Stephen Lewis, a successful writer of children’s books, who is confronted with the loss of his own child.

The drama will debut on BBC One, as well as Masterpiece on PBS. STUDIOCANAL, which owns 20 percent of SunnyMarch TV Productions, will handle worldwide sales.

Cumberbatch, SunnyMarch TV’s co-founder, said: “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. 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.”

Pinewood Television’s creative director, Helen Gregory, said: “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.”

McEwan said: “I’m thrilled to have my novel in the hands of such a high-level creative team. I have fond memories of Benedict playing a brilliant and key part in the movie adaptation of Atonement. Now, it’s a great honor to have this actor of such immense resource, experience and subtlety in the lead role of The Child in Time.”

Piers Wenger, the controller of BBC drama commissioning, added: “The Child In Time is a unique and moving story and one which I think will touch the heart of every BBC One viewer. I’m proud to be involved with both Pinewood Television and SunnyMarch TV’s first television commission, and to welcome Benedict back again to BBC One.”

Rebecca Eaton, Masterpiece’s executive producer, commented: “Masterpiece has been proud to showcase Benedict’s work for many years, and of course Sherlock has been a fantastic gift to our audience. To co-produce the first television drama out of his shop, SunnyMarch TV, with Pinewood Television is very gratifying.”