The actor will play the British monarch in a TV movie produced by Sam Mendes for BBC Two.

Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for playing the title role in Sherlock, will play Machiavellian tyrant King Richard III in a made-for-TV production adapted from William Shakespeare’s Richard III.

The project will be the latest addition to the BBC Two’s The Hollow Crown series, which features TV adaptations of the famous playwright’s works on British monarchs. Since June 2012, the channel has aired adaptations of Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V in which the historic kings were played respectively by Ben Wishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston.

Cumberbatch, who has appeared with increasing frequency on the silver screen lately (12 Years A Slave, The Fifth Estate, The Hobbit), will take a break from film in summer 2015 to topline the Barbican Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Coincidentally, his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman is also heading to the stage to play a monarch. In a play at Trafalgar Studios from this July to September, the actor will portray none other than Richard III. — AFP Relaxnews