In a piece of fantastical timing, I had no sooner defended my crush on Benedict Cumberbatch (again), than Dreamworks released the first still from The Fifth Estate, showing Cumberbatch in character as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Cannot unsee.

Look, if Benedict Cumberbatch is not your flavor, I get it. He’s an acquired taste for sure, like bitter chocolate or whiskey sours. But I have decided that though the talent is and always will be admirable (and there is something sexy about a capable individual), I can’t get down with Cumberbatch when he looks like this. I know it’s for a role, I know that’s a wig, but I just…can’t unsee it.

It’s oddly fascinating though, right?  I kind of can’t look away. He’s not a dead-ringer for Assange but the skeeviness is there, and a kind of shiftiness. He doesn’t look trustworthy. It reminds me of Paul from Atonement—remember how creepy he was in that? I’m getting a similar vibe from this photo. Lainey put it really well—the world recoiled from Julian Assange and, well, I’m recoiling from Cumberbatch as Assange, so mission accomplished. Though I’m having a hard time remembering that I do actually find Cumberbatch attractive because of this image, the part of me that likes Benedict Cumberbatch, Actor, is into this movie. Director Bill Condon is a little iffy, but Dreamworks is co-producing with Participant Media, their partner in recent Oscar heavyweights Lincoln and The Help, and they’ve set a mid-November release date, which means they intend to make a run at the 2014 award season. What kind of campaigner will Cumberbatch be?

The Fifth Estate is part of the delay on Sherlock season 3 starting up production, which has been pushed back to March. As Cumberbatch is filming with Condon and co-star Daniel Bruhl, Martin Freeman is wrapping Edgar Wright’s The World’s End and doing pick-up work for The Hobbit part 6: Hobbits gone wild. So Sherlock got kicked to a spring production date to accommodate the stars’ busy schedules, which means it could be Christmas before we see new episodes, especially if PBS persists with these ridiculous broadcast delays (the president of PBS was recently making noises that suggest she realizes how dumb that tactic is).

I need Sherlock to come back sooner rather than later. I need to cleanse my visual palate of the UNSEE.