London-born actor Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for his role as Sherlock Holmes on the popular BBC show, will portray the villain in the sequel to J.J. Abrams' 2009 "Star Trek" film. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)Link
Cumberbatch played young British aristocrat Edmund Talbot in the 2005 miniseries "To the Ends of the Earth." The series was nominated for several BAFTA awards. (BBC)Link
Cumberbatch, third from left, joined James McAvoy, Alice Eve and Elaine Tan in the 2006 film "Starter for 10," about students at Bristol University. (Giles Keyte/Picturehouse)Link
Benedict Cumberbatch played Paul Marshall in "Atonement," a 2007 movie based on the novel by Ian McEwan. The film won an Oscar, two Golden Globes and two BAFTA awards. (Universal Pictures)Link
In another period piece, Cumberbatch played William Carey, husband to Scarlett Johansson's Mary Boleyn, in 2008's "The Other Boleyn Girl." (Sony Pictures)Link
Cumberbatch and Anamaria Marinca starred in the 2008 miniseries thriller "The Last Enemy." (Box TV/BBC/PBS)Link
In 2010, Cumberbatch acted in "The Whistleblower," a drama based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac, who served as a peacekeeper in Bosnia and exposed a sex scandal. (Samuel Goldwyn Films)Link
Cumberbatch's performance as the Baker Street sleuth alongside Martin Freeman's Dr. Watson in the "Sherlock" TV series has catapulted him into the public eye and earned him several awards nods, including BAFTA and Emmy nominations. (BBC/PBS)Link
English actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in the TV series "Sherlock." (PBS)Link
Benedict Cumberbatch plays Victor Frankenstein opposite Jonny Lee Miller's Creature in Danny Boyle's National Theatre Live production of "Frankenstein" in 2011. The two actors took turns portraying the monster and his creator. (Catherine Ashmore)Link
Benedict Cumberbatch, left, played Maj. Jamie Stewart alongside Patrick Kennedy and Tom Hiddleston in the 2011 movie "War Horse." (David Appleby/DreamWorks)Link
Benedict Cumberbatch discusses a shot with director Steven Spielberg on the set of the 2011 film "War Horse." (David Appleby/DreamWorks)Link
Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed Peter Guillam in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." (Jack English/Focus Features)Link
Benedict Cumberbatch played opposite Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." (Jack English/Focus Features)Link
Benedict Cumberbatch attends the British Independent Film Awards in London in 2011. (Joel Ryan / Associated Press)Link
Benedict Cumberbatch. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)Link
“Sherlock” fans had extra reason to be thankful before this week’s holiday — series producer Sue Vertue tweeted a photo of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman wearing jaunty chapeaus to tease a new special due next year.
Their period costume has raised eyebrows online, with some wondering whether the acclaimed British drama will introduce a time-travel element a la “Doctor Who,” which is also overseen by “Sherlock” showrunner Steven Moffat.
Vertue also tweeted an image of the cover of a script the actors were using during a read-through for the upcoming special.
BBC has said previously that filming for the special would begin in January, though a proper fourth season for the fan-favorite detective show would most likely be delayed until 2016 owing largely to Freeman and Cumberbatch’s increasingly busy schedules.
Cumberbatch, in particular, seems to be everywhere these days, thanks in no small part to his starring turn in the Alan Turing biopic “The Imitation Game,” which arrives in U.S. theaters Friday.
He’s also rumored to be Marvel’s choice to star in “Doctor Strange,” though he has not officially signed on to the film, which is part of the studio’s phase three roster of comic book blockbusters and will be written and directed by Scott Derrickson (“Deliver Us From Evil,” “Sinister”).
Freeman, of course, will reprise his role as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s final “Hobbit” film, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” — which also features Cumberbatch as the voice of the dragon Smaug.
Click through the gallery above for a more detailed look at Cumberbatch’s early career, and let us know your thoughts about the new “Sherlock” photo in the comments section below.
-– Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex
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