The First Look at Benedict Cumberbatch In Netflix's 'Eric' Is Surprisingly Normal

Gaby Hoffmann and Benedict Cumberbatch in "Eric"

Gaby Hoffmann and Benedict Cumberbatch in "Eric"

(Photo: Ludovic Robert/Netflix)

Netflix has released the first image of Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar) in its upcoming limited series Eric, and the only thing remarkable about it is how utterly normal it looks. You see, while this first photo may look like nothing so much as a standard crime procedural, the project itself is anything but. 

In the six-part drama, which is reportedly inspired by a true story, Cumberbatch plays Vincent Sullivan, the troubled puppeteer behind the characters on America's most popular children's program, Good Day Sunshine. His life is turned upside down when his young son goes missing on his way to school, and Vincent becomes increasingly convinced that the only chance at bringing Edgar home can be found in his drawings of a seven-foot tall, blue puppet named Eric. What follows is the story of a desperate father as he battles demons both real and imagined on the streets of 1980s New York in an attempt to find his missing son. 

Alongside Cumberbatch, the limited series also stars Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent) as Cassie, McKinley Belcher III (One Piece) as lead detective Michael Ledroit, and newcomer Ivan Howe as Edgar. Other featured cast members are Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore), Clarke Peters (The Man Who Fell to Earth), Phoebe Nicholls (A Very British Scandal), David Denman (The Serpent Queen), Bamar Kane (Io Capitano), Adepero Odyue (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), Alexis Molnar (Rise), and Roberta Colindrez (A League of Their Own).

Here's the series synopsis. 

Set in 1980s New York, Eric is a new emotional thriller from Abi Morgan following the desperate search of a father when his nine year old son disappears one morning on the way to school. Vincent, one of New York’s leading puppeteers and creator of the hugely popular children’s television show, ‘Good Day Sunshine,’ struggles to cope with the loss of his son, Edgar, becoming increasingly distressed and volatile. Full of self-loathing and guilt around Edgar’s disappearance, he clings to his son’s drawings of a blue monster puppet, ERIC, convinced that if he can get ERIC on TV then Edgar will come home. As Vincent’s progressively destructive behaviour alienates his family, his work colleagues, and the detectives trying to help him, it’s Eric, a delusion of necessity, who becomes his only ally in the pursuit to bring his son home.

Eric hails from Abi Morgan, whose previous writing credits include the Emmy-winning series The Hour and films like The Iron Lady and SuffragetteLucy Forbes (The End of the F***ing World) directs all six episodes and serves as an executive producer alongside Morgan, Cumberbatch, Jane Featherstone (This Is Going to Hurt) and Lucy Dyke (Black Mirror). Holly Pullinger (Don't Forget the Driver) is a series producer.

“When Abi first pitched Eric to us, it gave us goose bumps,” Featherstone and Dyke said in a statment. “It’s an extraordinary piece of writing, inspired by Abi’s experience of New York in the mid-1980s, a city rotten to its core but on the cusp of change.”

Eric doesn't have a release date yet, but is expected to arrive on Netflix in 2024.

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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