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‘Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch Clears Up “Cynical”‘Elementary’ Comments

Elementary Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock Holmes
CBS / BBC

As candid as we’ve come to expect ‘Sherlock‘ and eventual ‘Star Trek 2‘ star Benedict Cumberbatch to be, it seems the popular UK thesp is retracing his steps in an effort to clear up his words.  Recently, a number of outlets picked up Cumberbatch’s comments toward friend and fellow actor Jonny Lee Miller over his decision to move forward with CBS’ own modern-day Sherlock Holmes adaptation ‘Elementary,’ but is it apology or accusation?

The mystery seems to be afoot as ‘Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken out against a recent Shortlist interview, in which the actor believes he was misquoted in saying that he felt “cynical” toward Jonny Lee Miller and CBS’ forthcoming procedural ‘Elementary.’  Both ‘Elementary’ and Cumberbatch’s ‘Sherlock’ feature the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character in a modern setting, though share relatively few similarities otherwise.

Still, the media and production groups have been quick to point out the similarities, Cumberbatch most recently recorded as saying to Shortlist:

I did say [to Miller], “Well, I’d prefer you didn’t do it but you’ve got a kid to feed, a nice house in LA and a wife to keep in good clothes.” When you get used to a certain standard of living and they waft a pay cheque at you, what are you going to do…I wish him the best of luck, but I’m a bit cynical about why they’ve chosen to do it and why they cast him.

Believing himself to be the victim of misreporting, Cumberbatch today issues the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

I am both bemused and upset at this misquote. I never said that Johnny took the job for the paycheck nor did I ask him not to do it. What I said is I would have preferred not to be in the situation where we will again be compared because we are friends. I know for a fact his motivations were to do with the quality of the script and the challenges of this exceptional role.

It is baffling because I have only been supportive of an incredibly talented actor who I am proud to call a friend taking a job I know he is going to enjoy immensely and be wonderful in.

Over 70 actors have played this exceptional character before us. To say that there can be only one Holmes would be ludicrous. We’re both thrilled to get the opportunity to play him in a modern context. The world of Sherlock Holmes and the world that we live in now is big enough to take more than one interpretation. As a genuine Sherlock Holmes fan I am greatly looking forward to his series.

True, for Cumberbatch to have meant his Shortlist words maliciously toward either CBS or friend Jonny Lee Miller would seem rather unwise, but we still have to respect him all the more for his willingness to address the controversy, and hopefully put an end to it once and for all.

What say you?  Is Benedict Cumberbatch merely trying to save face?  Do you think there’s room for both ‘Elementary’ and ‘Sherlock’ on the current TV landscape?  Tell us which series interests you more in the comments!

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