Benedict Cumberbatch movie The Power of the Dog to premiere at BFI London Film Festival

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Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog  (KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX)
Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog (KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX)

New Benedict Cumberbatch blockbuster The Power of the Dog will premiere at the BFI London Film Festival.

The western, directed by Jane Campion, will be shown on one of the biggest nights of the festival, the American Express Headline Gala at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on October 11.

Adapted for the screen by Oscar-winning Campion, the movie is based on the 1967 novel by Thomas Savage.

Oscar-winner Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons play the Burbank brothers, alongside Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee in supporting roles.

The story follows Phil Burbank, played by Cumberbatch, a feared ranch owner in early 20th century Montana. When his brother (Plemons) brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.

Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog (KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX © 2021)
Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog (KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX © 2021)

It was developed by BBC Film and will debut on Netflix later in the year following a UK theatrical release.

The announcement comes days after it was confirmed that The Harder They Fall, starring Idris Elba and Regina King, will open the festival.

Ms Campion, the first female filmmaker to receive a Palme d’Or at Cannes, won Best Original Screenplay at the 1994 Academy Awards and was the second woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for The Piano.

Ms Campion said: “I am thrilled to share The Power of the Dog at the LFF. It will be an honour to be there along with so many of my British team members, large amongst them the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch who is the broken heart and dark soul of this story.”

Idris Elba movie The Harder They Fall will open the festival this October. (DAVID LEE/NETFLIX © 2021)
Idris Elba movie The Harder They Fall will open the festival this October. (DAVID LEE/NETFLIX © 2021)

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director, said: “Jane Campion is one of the world’s great filmmakers. An artist with the ability to get under your skin, make you see things in people and situations you would otherwise miss.

“And that is so true of The Power of the Dog. It’s a sumptuous new work with many delicately revealed surprises, not least a deliciously dark performance from Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s such a pleasure to have Campion return to the LFF with our American Express Gala.”

The 65th BFI London Film Festival runs from Wednesday 6 October to Sunday 17 October, 2021.

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