Benedict Cumberbatch, in case you hadn’t noticed, is a bit busy these days; and as such, has had to drop out of a few projects that he was previously attached to star in. One such film is the movie adaptation The Lost City of Z, which the Oscar-nominated actor committed to starring in back in late 2013.
Lost City of Z is based on the 2009 book titled “The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon” written by David Grann. The novel was, in turn, inspired by the real life story of British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared with his son in 1925, while exploring the Amazon in search of an ancient lost city. James Grey (We Own the Night, The Immigrant) is adapting the historical drama/adventure for the big screen, as both screenwriter and director.
Cumberbatch, over the past year, signed on to play Doctor Strange in the upcoming Marvel Studios movie of the same name; and with other pressing commitments on his plate in 2015 (see: reprising as Sherlock Holmes for Sherlock season 4), the in-demand actor simply won’t have time to work on Lost City of Z – seeing as the project is gearing up to begin production this year too. For that reason, Cumberbatch has left the movie – and, according to multiple news outlets (including THR), been replaced by Charlie Hunnam, who will play Col. Fawcett instead.
The supporting cast for Lost City of Z includes Sienna Miller – fresh off her critically-acclaimed work in American Sniper – as Fawcett’s wife, Nina, while Robert Pattinson will continue his practice of sticking to less mainstream/more high-minded fare, post-Twilight, with a key supporting role in the film. MICA Entertainment is funding the project, while Brad Pitt will be co-producing alongside his fellow Plan B Entertainment heads, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner.
Hunnam will be appearing in a number of intriguing projects, following the conclusion of the TV series that he made his name on: FX’s Sons of Anarchy. The actor will costar in Guillermo del Toro’s supernatural horror film Crimson Peak (a movie that Cumberbatch was once attached to) this fall, before he headlines Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur – a tentpole that could kickoff a new franchise – in summer 2016. After that, it looks as though Hunnam will re-team with del Toro a third time, on Pacific Rim 2 in 2017.
It remains to be seen if Hunnam’s attempt to become a Hollywood superstar actually pans out; if not, he might be better off going the Colin Farrell route and sticking with smaller films (period dramas, indie fare) like Lost City of Z, rather than blockbuster material. Grey has carved out a niche for himself as a director who specializes in the latter kind of entertainment, so the final result here might be worth checking out for that reason alone.
The Lost City of Z doesn’t have an official release date yet; we’ll let you know when that changes.