The world premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness (god, that TITLE) was held in London last night and Benedict Cumberbatch showed up in a sharp suit with his long, dark Sherlock hair. This is my favorite Batch—tall, alien, bespoke.
Reviews of Darkness are rolling out and, as to be expected, everyone is singling out Cumberbatch and his performance, with a lot of people declaring it the push over the top. He’ll be a movie star now. Annoying class talk aside, The Batch has managed his ascent beautifully. He’s never rushed—even delayed making the leap to Hollywood to accommodate Sherlock—and he’s never been seen grasping for parts (his buddy Tom Hiddleston could take a page). He’s been patient, he’s done the work, and now he’s getting the payoff. If you’re not into Cumberbatch (Lainey: ahem, over here) you’re in for a rough year. Darkness will be one of the biggest movies this summer and come award season he’ll have not one but two chances for some attention with August: Osage County and that Julian Assange biopic. Oh, and he’ll be back on the blockbuster circuit during the holidays with the second Hobbit. It’s the year of The Batch.
I keep forgetting that Alice Eve is in Darkness, too, and that she was in Starter for 10 with Cumberbatch. Starter for 10 also starred James McAvoy, Rebecca Hall and Dominic Cooper. It was cast by Nina Gold, the same casting director behind Game of Thrones (and many, many other things—Gold is one of the best at what she does). I wonder if the likes of Richard Madden (who is, um, pursuing outside work pretty hard these days) and Alfie Allen look at the likes of Cumberbatch, McAvoy and the rest of the Starter cast and wonder if Nina Gold’s magic touch will extend to them, too.
The thing that unites the Starter cast, though—besides Gold’s influence—is patience, particularly in McAvoy’s and Cumberbatch’s cases. In an industry where “strike while the iron is hot” is the common logic, Cumberbatch has been measured and diverse, working in television, in the theater and in film, taking supporting roles and not just sticking to leading man work. He’s built an enviable resume and a strong reputation and he took his time doing it. Now look at his face at that premiere. Look at the confidence, at the self-possession. He’s arrived. And he knows it.