benedict-cumberbatch-

It's official—and in case you haven't noticed—Benedict Cumberbatch has arrived. The "Sherlock" star already spent 2011 in some pretty high profile fare like "War Horse" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," earned big praise for his turn opposite Jonny Lee Miller in Danny Boyle's stage rendition of "Frankenstein" and has bagged major roles in a couple of upcoming franchises, "The Hobbit" and "Star Trek 2." And he's continuing to add to his impressive CV with a role in Steve McQueen's eagerly anticipated new film.

Cumberbatch has joined the solid cast of Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Adepero Oduye, Scoot McNairy, Ruth Negga and Taran Killam in "Twelve Years A Slave." The based-on-a-true-story tale follows Solomon Northrup, a freed slave in the 1800s who is tricked and sold back into slavery. Cumberbatch will play a plantation owner who buys him and becomes impressed with Northrup's engineering skills.

Production on the film begins at the end of June and we'll toss out the suggestion that a premiere at Cannes next year wouldn't be entirely out of the question. It would be a homecoming for McQueen who won the Camera d'Or there in 2008 for "Hunger" and a great place to unveil what looks to be yet another fascinating dramatic work from the helmer. Needless to say, we can't wait. [Variety]