Could ‘Blood Mountain’ Turn Benedict Cumberbatch into an Action Star?

By February 6, 2014

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 KingsLone 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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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.
  • Ryan

    It’ll be interesting to see what Cumberbatch does with this film.

  • Muther

    I hope this will be as good as the 1965 camp classic “Legend of Blood Mountain.”

    • Never heard of that one – I’ll have to seek it out.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought of Legend Of Blood Mountain when reading this.

    • Christopher D Wellborn

      Hahaha. Nice!

  • Jerry Hudge

    Let`s see what could he bring out of this action character. I think it will be a good watch

  • Christopher D Wellborn

    He’s an amazing actor, no doubt about it. Did anyone see him in The Fifth Estate? I may have been the only one to see the movie, but he was fricken’ incredible

    • Jermaine M Dupuis

      I did. And it doesn’t matter whether you liked the movie or not, he was fricken awesome as Julian Assange.

      • Christopher D Wellborn

        Exactly. I kelp forgetting that it wasn’t Julian Assange

  • Jermaine M Dupuis

    If Cumberbatch is in, I’m in. he can do no wrong in my eyes.

    • Kristin T Medina

      I wouldn’t go that far.

  • Kristin T Medina

    I guess anything is possible with the right script. We’ll see!