Benedict Cumberbatch gives horse-riding a go in first-look Richard III photos

Scroll to see pictures of the Sherlock actor starring in BBC 2's The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses

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Benedict Cumberbatch has dressed as a monarch and taken to his noble steed in first look pictures from the set of Richard III.

The Sherlock star, 38, will play Shakespeare's infamous king in BBC2 series The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses.

Filming for the three-part adaptation of Henry VI (both parts) and Richard III began on Monday, with Cumberbatch seen looking rugged in paparazzi-style pictures leaked on Twitter.

Judi Dench joins Cumberbatch in the new run, after he personally asked her to star alongside him during a live Q&A at the Hay Festival.

“Would you like to be in Richard III with me?” Cumberbatch asked to cheers. “Yeah!”, the actress replied, sealing the deal.

Dench will star as Cecily, Duchess of York in Dominic Cooke's TV films, executive produced by Bond director Sam Mendes.

Hugh Bonneville, known for playing Robert, Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey, will star as Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester in Henry VI Part 1, with Oscar-nominee Sally Hawkins as his wife.

Sophie Okonedo and Keeley Hawes will play Queen Margaret and Queen Elizabeth respectively, while Tom Sturridge will star in as yet unconfirmed role.

Ben Whishaw, Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons starred in the first Bafta-winning series of The Hollow Crown, which focused on Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V.


Elsewhere, Cumberbatch will continue his foray into the Bard's classic plays when he tackles the notoriously challenging role of Hamlet on stage at the Barbican in 2015. Tickets sold out quickly, and more than twelve months in advance, in August.

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