Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is to play aristocratic playboy Patrick Melrose in new five-part series Melrose for Sky Atlantic and Showtime.
The series, based on the semi-autobiographical novels by Edward St. Aubyn, will be adapted for television by One Day and Starter for Ten author David Nicholls.
Cumberbatch, who will also serve as an executive producer on the show, stars as Melrose, a man struggling to overcome the damage inflicted growing up with an abusive father and unsupportive mother. It will track his journey from his harrowing childhood through substance abuse and to eventual recovery.
The series promises to be both gripping and humorous, as the drama moves from the South of France in the 1960s, via 1980s New York to Britain in the early 2000s. Nicholls will adapt each of St. Aubyn’s novels into an hour-long drama, with each episode set over the course of a few days.
Nicholls, who said that Cumberbatch was “perfect” to play the protagonaist added, “I've been a huge admirer of Edward St Aubyn's novels for years, and can't wait to bring these dark, witty, brilliant books to the screen.”
Sky’s head of drama Anne Mensah said, “Through anti-hero Patrick Melrose, [Sky] will be offering viewers a compelling window into a world of privilege, cruelty and greed – crucially both a disturbing and a funny tale.”
Filming will begin in London, France and New York in July.