Benedict Cumberbatch Drops Out Of Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak

As Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak has moved through the casting process it's had it's fair share of ups and downs - and today things are being shaken up once again. Benedict Cumberbatch, who signed on to the film all the way back in April, has decided to opt out of the project and is no longer attached.

Variety, which first reported the news, doesn't cite a reason for the Sherlock star's departure but notes that the movie does still have an absolutely stellar cast lined up, a list that includes Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Pacific Rim lead Charlie Hunnam. There are few details available about the plot of the film, but it's been described as a gothic haunted house story about a young author (Wasikowska) who discovers that her husband is not who he seems to be. Cumberbatch and Chastain were going to play a pair of aristocratic siblings, though now it seems as though the Academy Award-nominated actress will have to find a new brother.

This is the second cast change that Crimson Peak has had to make this summer. Back in January it was Emma Stone who was in talks to play the female lead in the new film, but she was forced to drop the project due to scheduling conflicts (presumably caused by the new Woody Allen movie that she is set to star in). Wasikowska entered talks for the part this past June, and given her brilliant performance in Chan Wook-Park's Stoker earlier this year one can only imagine that she'll feel right at home in del Toro's house of horrors. Production on the film is gearing up to start in February of next year, meaning that we will probably see the finished product some time in 2015.

While Cumberbatch dropping out of Crimson Peak is certainly not good news, fans of the actor can at least take solace in the fact that he will be absolutely everywhere on film and television in the next few months. This fall alone he has roles on the big screen in Bill Condon's The Fifth Estate, Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave, John Wells' August: Osage County, and Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The third season of Sherlock will also be on TV before the end of the year, and he is attached to upcoming projects like The Penguins of Madagascar, and the the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game.

Legendary Pictures and del Toro are already on the hunt for a new actor to play the part, so stay tuned in the coming weeks for updates both about why Cumberbatch dropped out and who will be signing on to replace him. For now, just think of what could have been and watch the Sherlock season three teaser below.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.