Bendict Cumberbatch in Talks to Lead James Gray's 'Lost City of Z'
by Ethan Anderton
September 4, 2013
After rumors swirled that Benedict Cumberbatch might reteam with Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams in some sort of role in Star Wars: Episode VII, it sounds like the actor is taking a role in another film instead. Deadline has word from the Toronto International Film Festival, where Cumberbatch's turn in The Fifth Estate will bow alongside performances in 12 Years a Slave and August: Osage County, that the actor is currently in talks to lead James Gray's long-gestating adaptation of David Grann's book The Lost City of Z, an epic tale about a British explorer lost in the Amazon searching for the City of Z.
The book (which Gray adapted himself) focuses on British explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett, who went searching for the so-called City of Z in the Amazon, but mysteriously disappeared in 1925. Over the last 80 years, countless explorers have tried and failed to retrace Fawcett's path, including a 1996 expedition of Brazilian adventurers. He is said to have been an inspiration for Indiana Jones and other fictional archaeologists, but no one knows what happened to him. So we're wondering how the script will end.
Since Cumberbatch's reps have denied his involvement in Star Wars and this news came along, it sounds like the "Sherlock" star will be too busy to work with Abrams on more sci-fi. But this project is still enticing, especially since producer Brad Pitt and his Plan B banner have been trying to get it off the ground for years. In fact, that last we heard about the project was that Pitt, who was also slated to star, walked away from the film because Paramount Pictures wasn't paying Gray enough, but it sounds like the studio isn't involved anymore with Panorama Media financing the film. Sound good?