For a while there, it felt like you couldn't turn around without seeing Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch in something. Whether it was Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy or the Star Trek film where he had to basically lie about the character he was playing, Cumberbatch was everywhere. He even did an episode of The Simpsons at one point.
Things seem to have slowed down a bit for the actor in recent years, likelly due to the demanding filming and promotional schedule that comes with being a Marvel superhero (he plays the titular Sorcerer Supreme in the Doctor Strange films and beyond) and having two young kids at home, but he's still found time to star in a handful of prestige projects, such as Jane Campion's Oscar-nominated film The Power of the Dog or Showtime's Emmy winning limited series Patrick Melrose. And now it seems as though he's joined another interesting limited project: An upcoming Netflix series titled, simply, Eric.
The title may well be the most straightforward thing about the series, however. Set in 1980s New York, it follows the story of Vincent Sullivan (Cumberbatch), the lead puppet maker and puppeteer for America's most popular children's show. But his life falls apart when his young son Edgar disappears and he soon finds himself living on the street and battling a substance addition. Vincent's only companion is Eric, a seven-foot-tall blue puppet who leads him on a journey to find both his missing son and a way back to the life he once knew.
I mean, I'm not personally averse to the idea of Cumberbatch acting opposite what is essentially a giant muppet, but also...well, this entire concept does sound more than a little bizarre.
The six-episode series was originally announced in November 2021 and hails from Abi Morgan, whose previous writing credits include Emmy-winning series The Hour and films like The Iron Lady and Suffragette. Lucy Forbes (This Is Going to Hurt) will direct, and Jane Featherstone, Lucy Dyke, and Carolyn Strauss will executive produce alongside Morgan.
Eric isn't the only new role Cumberbatch has in the works, either. He's also set to play Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko in a drama called Londongrad and will be seen in Netflix’s film adaptation of Road Dahl’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, which is directed and written by Wes Anderson.