Everything We Know About Londongrad So Far

Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch, a man with many names and one very specific face, has a new miniseries on the horizon, which shouldn't surprise any of you because this man loves a limited run television series. Besides 2018's "Patrick Melrose" and 2012's "Parade's End," you can't talk about Cumberbatch and miniseries without referencing the show that made Cumberbatch a household name, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' "Sherlock." This time, instead of dipping into a literary character, exploring the connection between abuse and addiction or taking a look at how WWI was perceived by high-class Britain, Cumberbatch will be diving into a character based on some wild recent history in "Londongrad." What does that mean? What am I talking about? Don't worry, all will be revealed in good time. 

When and Where to Watch Londongrad

For those of us who are complete suckers for the prestige TV trickled out by HBO, get hyped because "Londongrad" will be hitting HBO ... eventually. While Deadline has confirmed that HBO is developing "Londongrad" along with Cumberbatch, who will executive produce through his Sunnymarch production company, we're light on details about when the series will begin airing. Considering Cumberbatch has a good amount on his plate between his upcoming projects like "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" and "The 39 Steps," and everything he was involved in this year (including "The Electrical Life of Louis Wain," "The Power of the Dog" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home"), who knows when "Londongrad" will be slotted into his schedule. On the bright side, at least we know that he's good at multitasking?

What Londongrad Will Be About

Now let's get into the good stuff. Cumberbatch clearly loves a fun (read: sad) historical romp, and "Londongrad" will be taking him way back in time, to a different era where the world worked, felt and looked different. We're of course talking about the mid-aughts, or more specifically, 2006. 

The series will focus on telling the real life story of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who was poisoned by the radioactive isotope polonium-210. Cumberbatch will play Litvinenko, who was an officer at the Federal Security Service (FSB), the organization that succeeded the KGB, until he left for Britain and began openly criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. After his death, it was reported that Litivnenko was paid by MI6, Britain's secret intelligence service. It's a fascinating, and obviously serious, story about politics and corruption, and it'll be interesting to see what Cumberbatch does with the role, which is a slightly different version of the serious British roles we've seen him take on before.

What We Know About The Cast and Crew of Londongrad

Besides good old Cumberbatch himself, there hasn't been much news released about the rest of the "Londongrad" cast and crew. What we do know is that Bryan Fogel ("Icarus") will be directing and David Scarpa ("All the Money in the World") will be writing the show. Both Scarpa and Fogel will serve as executive producers along with Cumberbatch, Len Amato of Crash&Salvage, and Adam Ackland and Claire Marshall of Cumberbatche's aforementioned production outfit Sunnymarch. Fogel's last two projects were serious geopolitical documentaries, which is not surprising considering the story that this series is based on. If anything, I'm curious to see how deep this limited run series can go considering the amount of time they have to get it done.

Interestingly enough, this project was kind-of, sort-of first announced way back in 2011, when it was supposed to be a movie directed by Rupert Wyatt and starring Michael Fassbender. Obviously, a lot has changed since 2011, and hopefully having some more space between the events in 2006 and the making of the miniseries will lead to a better show with more historical context, but who knows. Maybe we'll be reporting about a "Londongrad" TikTok series in 2031. Anything could happen.