Benedict Cumberbatch Top Choice to Replace Tom Hardy in Sony's EVEREST

Benedict Cumberbatch Top Choice to Replace Tom Hardy in Sony's EVEREST

Sony is in the midst of assembling an all-star cast to mount its upcoming film EVEREST in order to meet its March start date, in an attempt to scale the mountain prior to Working Title, which also has its own project about the famed landmark in the works, according to Deadline.

Doug Liman is set to helm Sony's film, which was originally to star Tom Hardy as George Mallory, " the famous British mountaineer who rallied a nation with his attempts to conquer Everest."

With the schedule bump, Hardy has been forced to withdraw, with Benedict Cumberbatch the studio's top choice to take on the role. Joel Kinnaman, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston, Henry Cavill, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Matthew Goode, and Jim Sturgess are being considered to play Mallory's rival George Finch.

Working Title's own EVEREST, with Baltasar Krakauer directing, follows the events of May 1996 on Mount Everest, in which a group of climbers were caught in a deadly snowstorm during summit attempts, which resulted in eight deaths. The year marked Everest's most deadly season. The film will draw upon Jon Krakauer's nonfiction book INTO THIN AIR, a recount of his survival and the events.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, and John Hawkes are currently in negotiations to star in Working Title's take.

Cumberbatch's recent film roster includes The Fifth Estate, 12 Years a Slave, and August: Osage County with Meryl Streepand Julia Roberts -- all of which just debuted at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

His other upcoming projects include The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Magik, The Imitation Game and Flying Horse. He is well known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the UK series "Sherlock", which just wrapped its third season, set to air next year. Other recent film credits include J.J. Abrams' Stark Trek Into Darkness.

The actor starred in Steven Spielberg's War Horse film adaptation and in 2011 alternated leads in Danny Boyle's production of Frankenstein. His other theatre credits include Hedda Gabler, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

More On: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg, War Horse, Danny Boyle, Walter McBride.

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