By Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter
Benedict Cumberbatch has lined up another film project.
The actor’s own SunnyMarch banner has teamed with StudioCanal to pick up the film rights to How to Stop Time, the forthcoming book from prolific adult and children’s author Matt Haig (A Boy Called Christmas, The Last Family in England, The Radleys), being published by Canongate Books in July.
Cumberbatch will play Tom Hazard, a man who may look like an ordinary 41-year-old but, owing to an extremely rare condition, has been alive for centuries. The Imitation Game and Doctor Strange star will exec produce alongside Canongate CEO Jamie Byng.
StudioCanal is fully financing How to Stop Time and will distribute in its territories, the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand, and will be handling international sales.
The deal was negotiated between SunnyMarch’s managing director, Adam Ackland, who will produce the film, and Nick Marston of Curtis Brown, who brokered the deal on behalf of Haig and Conville and Walsh.
“The prospect of Benedict Cumberbatch playing Tom Hazard is a hugely exciting one and I could not be happier about working with Adam and Jamie, and to be reunited with StudioCanal,” said Haig, who was a writer on the growing mini-major’s 2014 hit Paddington.
“We are delighted to be continuing our successful relationship with Matt Haig as well as build upon our long-running and dynamic partnership with SunnyMarch, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Adam Ackland,” said StudioCanal U.K. CEO Danny Perkins.
“This compelling novel will make for a powerful film that falls in line with StudioCanal’s ongoing commitment to British talent, storytelling and production. We look forward to bringing it to audiences around the world.”
StudioCanal, which took a stake in SunnyMarch last year, is also adapting Haig’s book series A Boy Called Christmas for the big screen, while the writer is adapting The Radleys for Alfonso Cuaron and BBC Films and The Last Family in England for Taika Waititi and Plan B.
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