Benedict Cumberbatch to play Sherlock at 50, hopes creator

Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman could still be playing the successful sleuths in 20 years, if the show’s co-creator, Mark Gatiss, gets his way.

Gatiss created the hit BBC show with Doctor Who supremo Steven Moffat. Filming of the third series starts in March and Gatiss said he hoped the pair could equal Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, who made a string of films as Holmes and Watson and were still playing them in their fifties.

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He said: “I think one of the wonderful things, if everybody is up for it, is starting as we did with Sherlock and John as much younger men than they’re usually portrayed as, we can play with the idea of them growing up.

“I’d love the idea of Benedict and Martin the same age as Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Who knows? Why not?”