Monday 10 December 2018

Benedict Cumberbatch to star as Vote Leave mastermind Dominic Cummings

The Channel 4 drama will be directed by Toby Haynes.

Graham Norton Show – London
Graham Norton Show – London

By Sherna Noah, Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Benedict Cumberbatch will star as Vote Leave’s leading strategist in an “explosive and illuminating” Channel 4 drama about the data-driven political campaign for Brexit.

The political thriller will be set mostly during the EU referendum.

The one-off drama will explore the “myriad tactics employed to swing one of the most surprising referendum results in living memory”.

Cumberbatch stars as Dominic Cummings, the leading strategist and campaign director of Vote Leave, in the drama, to begin shooting later this year.

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Benedict Cumberbatch Ironbark

The drama was announced amid controversy over the political impact of data-mining, with investigations examining possible links between Vote Leave’s campaign and data companies.

Brexit (working title) will explore the “anatomy of a modern data-driven election campaign, and the divisive figures driving it from the shadows”.

Writer James Graham, whose credits include The Vote, Tory Boyz and Coalition, said: “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.

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

“To work with this incredible team and Channel 4 to bring this story to life on screen is a real honour.”

The drama will be directed by Toby Haynes, whose credits include Black Mirror, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Sherlock.

Executive producers Juliette Howell and Tessa Ross said: “We are thrilled to have Benedict at the centre of James’s brilliant, searching response to the Brexit vote.

“James is a writer who is unafraid to ask difficult questions and has never stopped looking for uncomfortable truths at this complicated time in our history. And we’re hugely excited that Toby Haynes will be directing this film for Channel 4.”

Cumberbatch was vocal, before the referendum, in his opposition to Brexit.

The Hollywood star was one of almost 300 actors, musicians, writers and artists who backed calls, in an open letter, for the UK to stay in the EU.

He signed a letter alongside Jude Law and Keira Knightley, saying that Brexit would “damage” the creative industry.

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