The Channel 4 TV movie, which will also air in the US on HBO, will focus on the data-driven political campaign during the EU referendum, including the “myriad tactics employed to swing one of the most surprising referendum results in living memory”.
Directed by Toby Haynes, who’s worked on the likes of Sherlock, Black Mirror, and Doctor Who, the film has been teased as an “explosive and illuminating” Brexit thriller.
Cumberbatch, who’s been vocal in his opposition to Brexit, has transformed himself into Cummings, the leading strategist and campaign director of Vote Leave, with the help of a receding hairline. He was one of almost 300 actors, musicians, writers, and artists who signed an open letter in support of the UK remaining in the EU.
The drama promises to explore the “anatomy of a modern data-driven election campaign, and the divisive figures driving it from the shadows”.
Alongside Cumberbatch, Rory Kinnear will play Craig Oliver, former prime minister David Cameron’s director of communications and Cummings’ counterpart in the Remain campaign. The Crown’s John Heffernan will play political lobbyist Matthew Elliott, with Call the Midwife’s Liz White starring as Cumming’s wife, Mary Wakefield, and Poldark’s Kyle Soller as Zack Massingham, the founder of a data tech company that helps target voters through social media.
The Windsors’ Richard Goulding will play Boris Johnson, with The Crown’s Oliver Maltman as Michael Gove and The Five’s Paul Ryan as Nigel Farage.
The UK air date is yet to be announced, but the film will premiere in the US on HBO on 19 January.
Follow Independent Culture on Facebook for all the latest on Film, TV, Music, and more
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies