The TV adaptation is based on the Patrick Melrose novels created by Edward St. Aubyn. David Nicholls (“Far from the Madding Crowd”) is writing all five episodes; the search is on for an auteur director to helm the five episodes.
Production begins in August on the limited series, which will be filmed in New York, London and France. The international co-production will be produced by Sky Atlantic along with Showtime.
According to Showtime, “Cumberbatch will play Melrose, an aristocratic and outrageously funny playboy who struggles to overcome the damage inflicted by a horribly abusive father and the mother who tacitly condoned the behavior. Asked in 2013 if he could play any literary character ever, Cumberbatch shared in a Reddit Q&A that it would be Patrick Melrose.”
Each one of the five “Melrose” books will be adapted into an hour-long episode, encompassing the South of France in the 1960s, New York in the 1980s and Britain in the early 2000s.
“I’ve been a huge admirer of Edward St Aubyn’s novels for years, and can’t wait to bring these dark, witty, brilliant books to the screen,” said Nicholls. “Benedict is the perfect Patrick Melrose.”
“Melrose” is the first production from Two Cities Television, the new drama shingle launched by former Channel Four and IAC executive Michael Jackson. He’ll executive produce with Rachel Horovitz (“Grey Gardens”), Cumberbatch, and Adam Ackland.