Benedict Cumberbatch To Star In James Gray's The Lost City Of Z

Benedict Cumberbatch is everywhere we turn nowadays, and today he's found yet another way to continue his ubiquitousness streak. Deadline is reporting out of the Toronto International Film Festival that the Sherlock star is now attached to play the lead role in The Lost City of Z, the long in-development adaptation of David Grann's book that director James Gray is attached to helm.

If the title sounds familiar it may be because the project has been around since 2008. For a long time Brad Pitt was set to play the story's lead, British soldier/spy Percy Fawcett, though he left the movie all the way back in November of 2010. Gray, however, has been attached from the very beginning, and in the time since has directed the dramatic mystery The Immigrant with Jeremy Renner (which premiered at Cannes earlier this year), and written the script for the Clive Owen-starring crime thriller Blood Ties.

Set in 1925, the new film centers on Fawcett as he travels into the depths of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil searching for a civilization. When he discovers the mythical Lost City of Z he is excited to share the news with his peers - but nobody believes him. In order to prove his discovery is legitimate, Fawcett goes back into the jungle with his son to try and get proof. The book is based on a true story and in reality Fawcett and his son were never seen or heard from again.

Cumberbatch will be all over the Toronto International Festival in the next couple weeks, as he has three movies that will be getting their debut during the event. First up we have Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave, which is already riding on big buzz thanks to a very successful premiere at Telluride:

Then there's Bill Condon's The Fifth Estate, in which Cumberbatch will be starring as notorious journalist Julian Assange:

And finally there's John Wells' adaptation of August: Osage County:

In addition to all of that, we will soon be seeing new episodes of Sherlock, and hearing Cumberbatch's voice come out of a dragon in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It's a shame that we won't get to see him work with Guillermo del Toro on Crimson Peak, but I guess his dance card is pretty full up at this point.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.