×

Benedict Cumberbatch ‘Brexit’ Drama Set for Channel 4

Benedict Cumberbatch will star in a Channel 4 TV drama about the Brexit vote in the U.K., which will be timed to air as Britain leaves the European Union next March. Cumberbatch will play Dominic Cummings, the leading strategist and campaign director of the Vote Leave movement, which sought to persuade British voters to opt for exiting the EU.

“I am particularly pleased to commission James Graham’s hard-hitting and compulsive drama on how the Brexit vote was won with Benedict Cumberbatch in a new role,” Channel 4’s new programming boss, Ian Katz, said at a Channel 4 event in London, Wednesday. “It will be broadcast just ahead of our formal [exit] from the EU in March, assuming that we actually get around to leaving.”

Graham wrote the stage play “The Vote,” which was set on the night of the general election vote and featured an ensemble cast including Mark Gatiss and Judi Dench. His Channel 4 project “Brexit” will be a 120-minute one-off.

“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,” Graham said. “I hope by going behind-the-scenes of the campaign, we’re able to interrogate the consequences of what happened during these 8 weeks that have changed the country forever.”

Beth Willis, 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.”

House Productions, the U.K. indie producer created by former Working Title TV boss Juliette Howell and former Film4 head Tessa Ross, will produce “Brexit.” Toby Haynes (“Black Mirror”) will direct. Shooting starts later this year.

Britain and Europe are still grappling with the likely impact Brexit will have. At the Cannes Film Festival last week Margot James, minister for the digital and creative industries told Variety it would not have a significant impact on the U.K. film industry.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • T.J. Dillashaw, right, kicks Cody Garbrandt

    Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX

    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC [...]

  • George RR Martin

    George R.R. Martin Says HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Ending Won't Influence Future Novels

    Geroge R.R. Martin is sticking to his original plan when it comes to the future of “Game of Thrones.” In an interview with The Observer, Martin claimed that HBO’s controversial ending for the series would have no affect on the endings of the last two novels. “No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t change anything at all,” [...]

  • Listen: 'Pennyworth' Producer Talks Delving into

    Listen: 'Pennyworth' Executive Producer Talks Delving into Alfred's Backstory

    Bruno Heller may have served as an executive producer on the Batman-inspired series “Gotham” for the past five years, but it’s actually real-life people (not superheroes) that intrigue the producer the most. It’s for that exact reason that Heller’s newest series finds him exploring the origin stories of Batman’s butler Alfred in the Epix drama [...]

  • "Trust Issues" - Dylan and Lizzie

    'Instinct' Canceled After Two Seasons

    CBS has canceled “Instinct” after two seasons. Series creator Michael Rauch announced the cancellation Friday on Twitter, writing, “I’m very sad to relay the news that @instinctcbs won’t be renewed for a 3rd season. We will double up this Sunday and our season/series finale will be Aug 25.” Rauch also thanked series stars Alan Cumming [...]

  • Maisel Day

    My Mostly OK Maisel Day (Column)

    When Amazon announced its first-ever Maisel Day, I was intrigued. For one day, Aug. 15, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” fans and Angelenos (fangelenos?) could hit up various restaurants, theaters and retailers throughout Los Angeles for special deals, all at 1959 prices. Among the gems: $2.50 makeovers, $0.99 pastrami sandwiches and $0.30 for a gallon of [...]

  • Nordisk Film & TV Fond Announces

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond Backs Joachim Trier, Ole Bornedal, Yellow Bird

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond has announced three features, two series and a documentary set to receive $1.4m in financing, as well as distribution, dubbing and cultural initiative support recipients. Doing so, it highlights some of the key titles moving forward in the Nordic region. Already backed by the Danish Film Institute’s largest ever grant [...]

  • TV News Roundup: 'Silicon Valley' Final

    TV News Roundup: 'Silicon Valley's' Final Season Sets October Premiere Date

    In today’s roundup, “Silicon Valley” returns to HBO on Oct. 27 and Quibi greenlights a new cooking competition show “Dismantled.” DATES The fifth season of Netflix‘s “Peaky Blinders” will premiere on the streamer Oct. 4. The newest season will continue to follow one gangster family in the lawless streets of Birmingham, UK during the midst [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content