The first trailer for Benedict Cumberbatch's The Child In Time has been released, showing the moment that his character loses his young daughter. The TV movie is based on the novel of the same name by Ian McEwan, which tells the story of a married couple who lose their daughter, and the heartbreaking fallout from that terrible loss. Cumberbatch plays children's book author Stephen Lewis, while Kelly MacDonald plays his wife Julie.
The BBC announced production of an adaptation of the book earlier this year, with PBS Masterpiece, Pinewood Studios and Cumberbatch's own SunnyMarch TV. At the time, Cumberbatch described the book as "profound, beautiful and very moving," and praised both writer Stephen Butchard and director Julian Farino. Now, the first trailer for the 90-min TV movie has been released, showing the moment that everything changed for Stephen and Julie.
The short trailer was released by Masterpiece, and sets up the basic premise of the film. It begins with Stephen and his daughter in the supermarket, and the chilling moment when he turns around to see an empty shopping cart where his daughter should have been. The title cards asks "Can time heal all wounds?", as further clips show the couple struggling to deal with their loss, and coming to terms with it in their own ways.
This is not McEwan's first novel to get a major adaptation, with 10 previous books already turned into films, including the Oscar-winning Atonement. The project is also far from Cumberbatch's first with the BBC, where he has already starred in the hugely popular Sherlock for several seasons, but this is the first drama produced by his company SunnyMarch.
The trailer does an excellent job of setting up the film, and of course, of showcasing Cumberbatch's talents as the star. As the story is an exploration of grief, this is not a trailer packed with spoilers or shocking reveals, but one that captures the general tone of the film and how it will focus on the lives of these two people after such a devastating event.
Of course, there is still plenty that the trailer does not give away, including the immediate aftermath, and how the lives of Stephen and Julie have changed in the three years since their daughter went missing. It also doesn't reveal anything of the political nature of the book, as Stephen becomes part of a committee on childcare, and becomes involved with politics as a result. Several characters, including the prime minister, don't feature in the trailer, which is probably done in order to put the focus on the biggest name attached to the movie and the more emotional side to the story.
The Child In Time does not currently have a release date, but will premiere on the BBC.
Source: Masterpiece PBS