Benedict Cumberbatch Quits Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Crimson Peak’

Published 2 years ago by

Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness Benedict Cumberbatch Quits Guillermo Del Toros Crimson Peak

If you’ve ever had a nightmare about being chased by the Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth, you may already be aware that Guillermo del Toro is capable of creating some truly terrifying horror moments. The director’s work so far has often leaned towards the dark and strange, even in action movies like Hellboy and Blade II, so the news that his next directing project would be a gothic horror story called Crimson Peak came as welcome news.

From what we have been able to glean, Crimson Peak sounds like it will be made in the style of classic haunted house tale, but with a healthy mix of love, sex and violence. Del Toro co-wrote the script with Matthew Robbins (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark) and Lucinda Coxon (The Heart of Me), and has said that it will be influenced by film’s like The Haunting and The Shining.

After watching The Devil’s Backbone, it’s hard to imagine anyone turning down the opportunity to star in another del Toro ghost movie but, according to Variety, Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) has done just that. When Cumberbatch took the role earlier this year, we theorized that he might be playing the villain of Crimson Peak, based on the positive critical response to his role in Star Trek Into Darkness. Fans who were excited at the prospect of Cumberbatch and del Toro teaming up will no doubt be disappointed to hear that this match won’t happen after all – not yet, at least.

The reasons behind Cumberbatch’s decision to walk away from Crimson Peak are still unknown. Perhaps he’s a member of the Anti-Kaiju Defamation League and was offended by the slanderous depiction of the giant interdimensional monsters in Pacific Rim (apologies to the AKDL for calling them monsters – Kaiju are people too). More likely, however, is that the shooting schedule for one of Cumberbatch’s many other projects clashed with that of Crimson Peak, and the actor had to make a tough call.

The ghost of Santi in The Devils Backbone Benedict Cumberbatch Quits Guillermo Del Toros Crimson Peak

The cameras are set to start rolling on Crimson Peak in summer 2014, and del Toro recently told Screen Rant that he will most likely go back to shooting on film after using digital cameras for the first time on Pacific Rim. Still attached to the project are that film’s star, Charlie Hunnam, and Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty).

The specifics of Cumberbatch’s former role had not yet been revealed, but the producers will no doubt already be searching for a suitable replacement, just as they did when Emma Stone left the project and had her shoes filled shortly afterwards by Mia Wasikowska. One actor that springs to mind is Tom Hiddleston, who seems to be twinned with Cumberbatch in the public consciousness since the actors shared a screen in War Horse and have a fair few things in common (mainly cheekbones), but only time will tell which actor will be cast in Cumberbatch’s place.

Are you sad to see Cumberbatch and del Toro part ways on Crimson Peak? Tell us why you think the actor walked away from the film, and who you think would be the best replacement for him, in the comments.


Crimson Peak is expected to release some time in 2015.

Source: Variety

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  1. Del Toro and a horror movie seem a little beneath Cumberbatch, so I’m not really surprised, but perhaps he left it for totally different reasons.

    • And why is this???

      Just curious. Guillermo Del Toro, IMO, is one of the better directors out there.

      • second that !

        • Third! Hellboy 2 for the win!

          • I guess we have a difference of opinion, as I do not believe Del Toro is anyone to brag about.

            • To each his own I guess. It makes me really curious though as to whether you’ve seen Pan’s Labyrinth or not. That movie was like a breath of fresh air

    • If Star Trek isn’t beneath him then neither is a horror movie written and directed by one of the more creative guys in the business.

      • *like*

    • lol please. the guy’s amazing and i wanna see him work with del toro but the horror genre has changed in years. it’s not for b-list actors/directors anymore.

    • I actually tend to agree here. Maybe I’m alone in this, but I don’t really think Del Toro is all that good. Pacific Rim was alright, the Hellboy movies are decent, but are more cult movies than anything else, Blade 2 was pretty bad, Mimic wasn’t good either. Pan’s Labyrinth is his only film that most people would say was really exceptionally good.

      • I’m not on the Cumberbatch bandwagon. He’s a good actor, but I honestly don’t get all the fan worship.

      • Del Toro is quite overrated, in my opinion. I certainly wouldn’t rank him anywhere near the likes of Spielberg, Scorsese, Eastwood, Jackson, etc. He has his following, though, among the comic book fan boys.

        • Agreed. The guy has a good eye for visuals and whatnot but I look at his works and most are just meh to me.

          I credit him for enthusiasm. He seems to really enjoy what he does, which I admire, but still … meh.

        • I agree. I love Del Toro’s work as a visual artist but as far as him directing a movie? Not soo much. Pan’s Labyrinth was a great movie but aside from that, all other movies have been just okay to poor. I just hope he doesn’t turn into Michael Bay Jr where he has movies where it’s all visuals but no storyline/plots. I agree, it must be a fan boy thing

          • I gotta disagree with you, JaredDac. We agree on Labyrinth, but Del Toro has some other notable films in his cadre. Pacific Rim, Mama, Hell Boy 1 and 2, Blade 2, Devil’s Backbone… Even Mimic wasn’t a complete loss. ;)

            Either way, I’d never compare him to Michael Bay. I think, for instance, he’d be way better for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and would have rocked Transformers.

    • Beneath Cumberbatch, Jeff? How so? I can definitely see you saying that about standard horror fair, but Del Toro? This is no lowly hack filmmaker we’re talking about. And horror by him has so far been deep and evocative.

  2. Maybe he’s more interested in Oldman’s film with Fiennes about Muybridge. I hear Oldman and Cumberbatch are tight.

    Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if Chastain leaves the project in the coming weeks too. Stone left for Allen. As much as I love Del Toro, I can see why top-tier actors leave his projects. He’s not really in the A-list yet (not a box-office draw either) no matter how masterful he is. I also think it has something to do with the Warner Bro. split.

    • Stone actually left for Cameron Crowe. The Woody Allen movie is filming right now so it doesn’t clash with Crimson Peak’s scheduling. But yeah, the fact that two of the leads have already left kinda says something. Maybe it’s script issues or creative differences.

      • well that’s worse. aren’t they doing re-writes with this too? yeah, something’s wrong.

      • Stone left Del Toro for Crowe??! Now, I’m getting nervous about this film.

  3. Hiddleston? Ehhh. He’s like a budget Cumberbatch. They’re both posh and regal and stuff but the guy is lite. And aren’t Cumberbatch’s and Chastain’s characters siblings? No. Downgrade.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Chastain or Wasikowska drops out of this too.

  4. Speaking of walking away from projects, did we ever find out why that director left that Natalie Portman flick on the first day of filming?

  5. If it was a straight-up gothic horror thing, I might be intersted, but when you dump a bunch of sex garbage into it, it’s time to walk away. I will take a pass on seeing this, and read a good library book instead.

  6. What did I just see? Another one of these retarded phlegm-fest ads of yours that is probably a link to a website loaded with viruses. Well, here is a virus for you: your methodology of advertising unsolicitated garbage makes me sick…and I bet I am not alone!

  7. I think it was scheduling conflict.

  8. Let’s say for argument’s sake that del Toro is not a great director, but a one trick pony who got lucky with Pan’s Labyrinth.

    This pony’s one trick is horror-tinged supernatural stories.
    This is a (supernatural?)horror film.

    His failings in other genres like action or comedy are really irrelevant.

    • I really like all his stuff. But I agree that Pan’s Labyrinth is his best work.

  9. Screnrant, you really didn’t keep up with Pacific Rim news; Hunnam had several interviews mentioning that he himself got a quiet part who doesn’t get the girl in Crimson Peak, and Cumberbatch was set to play a lady’s man who wins the heroin’s heart; that doesn’t sound like BC’s part is a villain. My best guess for Cumberbatch to leave this project is that the script doesn’t shake up to Cumberbatch’s liking or some creative difference, if the real reason is truly not due to the other project, and no, Hiddleston still has a lot to prove to see if he has the acting chops to reach Cumberbatch, Whishaw or even Eddie Redmayne. There’s always a new pair of cheekbones at the next corner, but that’s never good enough for a good movie if that’s what del Toro wants.