Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch to star in crime thriller Blood Mountain

The British actor has been cast in Sergei Bodrov's latest film project

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast in a new crime thriller, Blood Mountain, it has been reported.

Directed by Sergei Bodrov, the film follows a private military contractor who is forced to accompany “one of the world’s most wanted terrorists” over dangerous land to bring him to justice.

Lawrence Bender, producer of Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds, will be producing for Bodrov alongside Nicola Horlick and James Gibb. Jonathan W Stokes wrote the original script, which John Romano has revised.

The project is due to be presented to international buyers by Altitude Film Sales at Berlin’s European Film Market, according to the Variety website.

Shooting for Blood Mountain is set to begin in Morocco in April.

News of Cumberbatch’s upcoming role has put rumours of a Star Wars: Episode VII appearance in doubt. JJ Abram’s sequel is reportedly due to start filming in May, meaning that the 37-year-old’s schedules would clash were he to have major roles in both.

Cumberbatch’s involvements in both Blood Mountain and Star Wars: Episode VII have yet to be confirmed.

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Sherlock Holmes is portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series

The Sherlock star left UK television screens only recently, after the third season of the hit detective drama came to a close on the BBC.

The three-parter became the broadcaster's most-watched drama run in over a decade, pulling in an average of 11.82 million viewers when it was screened earlier this month.

Viewers saw the last episode climax with what appeared to be the possible return of arch-villain Moriarty. Writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss confirmed at a Bafta screening that a fourth - and maybe even a fifth - series of Sherlock have been plotted.

Future series will depend upon the work schedules of Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who plays Sherlock's sidekick John Watson.

Cumberbatch won the new TV Detective category at the National Television Awards last Wednesday, after beating competition from Broadchurch's David Tennant and Olivia Colman.

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