Benedict Cumberbatch played a pretty physical version of Khan in last year’s Star Trek Into Darkness, and his motion capture work gave Smaug his dragon-y movements, but it’s safe to say that at this point in the actor’s career, he’s much better known for playing analytical, clinical characters (his take on Sherlock Holmes immediately comes to mind). The point is, he’s far from being a traditional action star – but one of his upcoming movies may be looking to change our perception of him.
Collider has a full synopsis of Blood Mountain, Cumberbatch’s upcoming film for director Sergei Bodrov in which he plays a seasoned combat veteran, and it sounds like he’s taking on a role more suited for Bruce Willis than the lanky Brit we know and love:
Blood Mountain is a taut, visceral and surprising action-adventure in the tradition of Three Kings, Lone Survivor and The Grey.
Charlie Webster is a seasoned combat veteran, now working as a private military contractor, who dispatches the enemy with ice-cold efficiency. Years of warfare have left him jaded and impervious to the horrors around him; there’s nothing he hasn’t seen or done before.
While operating along the lawless mountainous regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, his special forces team is ambushed and killed during a covert raid on a high value traget and Webster is forced to personally escort Al-Wahiri, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, over miles of hostile terrain in order to bring him to justice.
With a $12 million bounty at stake and insurgents and rival mercenaries hunting them at every turn, the two men – warriors in their own right and obeying an unspoken code that cannot be broken – find themselves facing not only their enemies but each other.
Sounds like a mashup of 3:10 to Yuma, 16 Blocks, and Lone Survivor (which they name-check in their description), but I’m definitely digging the fact that Cumberbatch isn’t allowing himself to be pigeonholed into only playing Sherlock-type roles. He brought some physicality to Khan, but he was arguably more effective playing mind games with Kirk and Co. than getting into full-on brawls (despite his super strength). Could Blood Mountain change everyone’s mind about whether the actor is capable of delivering a different kind of no-holds-barred, badass performance than he’s given before? Sounds like that could be what they’re aiming for.
In any case, I’m excited to see how Cumberbatch’s career moves forward from here, and since it’s going to be a couple of years in between every season of “Sherlock”, I’m glad that he’ll be mixing it up on the big screen and having the opportunity to head back to Baker Street when he’s needed.
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