Benedict Cumberbatch is determined to be successful as a movie producer while promoting equality.
The Doctor Strange actor has begun branching out into film production and has been buying up the rights to novels via his SunnyMarch company. As one of his first film projects, he’s chosen to adapt Megan Hunter’s debut book The End We Start From – an environmental thriller that follows a mother and her baby who are forced to become refugees after London is flooded due to climate change.
In an interview with Britain’s Radio Times magazine, Benedict referred to the astonishing success of Marvel’s Black Panther to prove his point that films don’t need to be focused on white male characters to attract huge audiences.
“Our next project is a female story with a female lens about motherhood, in a time of environmental disaster,” he said. “Half the audience is female! And, in terms of diversity, Black Panther is now the third most successful film of all time. The audience is there!”
Announcing his firm bought the rights to the book last year (17), he gushed to Variety, “The End We Start From is a stunning tale of motherhood. Megan has crafted a striking and frighteningly real story of a family fighting for survival that will make everyone stop and think about what kind of planet we are leaving behind for our children. We’re beyond thrilled to be bringing this story to life.”
In the Radio Times interview, the actor also called on male stars to ask what their female colleagues are being paid and pull out of any project where they are not paying equally.
“Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism,” he demanded. “Look at your quotas. Ask what women are being paid, and say: ‘If she’s not paid the same as the men, I’m not doing it.'”
The cast and release date for The End We Start From are yet to be announced.