The speculation that followed Benedict Cumberbatch's exit from Guillermo del Toro's R-rated Gothic romance "Crimson Peak" was deafening and absurd, most of it hinged around the fact that the star (whose "The Fifth Estate" just opened the Toronto International Film Festival) was supposedly leaving to headline J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII." When that turned out to be patently false, people sort of forgot about the spot that he had left in "Crimson Peak," a spot that has just been filled with an equally charming British dandy: Tom Hiddleston.
Who Hiddleston will be playing is unclear, but it's obviously a character who is very pale and British. Plot details for the film are being kept tightly under lock and key, although del Toro has made reference to it being both graphic and sexy (graphically sexy?). Del Toro recently reworked the original script that he had co-written with longtime creative partner Matthew Robbins, bringing in Lucina Coxon for a well-supervised polish. Hiddleston will be joining a cast that already includes Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska (who, in the film's revolving door casting, replaced Emma Stone).
While Hiddleston has provided memorable supporting performances in "Midnight in Paris" and "War Horse," he is of course best known for his role as Loki, the Norse god of mischief, in Marvel movies "Thor" and "The Avengers." He'll be reprising his puckish role in this fall's "Thor: The Dark World," but will sit out 2015's "The Avengers: Age of Ultron." We saw him on stage recently at Disney's D23 Expo, where he talked about "Thor: The Dark World" and his role as Captain Hook in the upcoming "Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy" direct-to-video animated feature, and the man literally radiates charm. You can bask in its warming glow. Hiddleston's Jim Jarmusch-directed vampire movie "Only Lovers Left Alive" will also be making an appearance at TIFF.
Del Toro's most recent feature, this summer's "Pacific Rim," was seen as something of a disappointment, largely due to a muddled marketing campaign (it's out on DVD and Blu-ray October 15th), although a strong overseas showing could mean that a sequel is in the cards, along with roughly 5,000 other projects.
"Crimson Peak" starts filming early next year for a tentative April 2015 release date from Legendary and Universal.