Film

HBO’s Brexit Movie Has Released Its First Trailer, Starring Benedict Cumberbatch

Brexit isn't even over but go off I guess.

HBO is making a movie about Brexit, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the coordinator of the campaign to leave the EU, and has just released its first trailer. Because I guess this year wasn’t weird enough.

“Everyone knows who won,” says a balding Cumberbatch in the trailer, playing British political strategist Dominic Cummings. “But not everyone knows how.”

Written by James Graham and directed by Toby Haynes, who also directed Black Mirror episode ‘USS Callister’, Brexit will follow Cummings as Campaign Director of Vote Leave.

The campaign was ultimately successful, resulting in 52 percent of voters choosing for the UK to leave the EU. However, it was criticised for allegedly misleading voters and stoking xenophobia, and was also found to have broken electoral law. Brexit’s details are still being worked out, resulting in no small amount of political upheaval and almost causing Leadership Spill: UK Edition earlier this week.

It’s hard to tell for certain what angle HBO’s Brexit will be going for, but on initial viewing the trailer appears to cast Cummings as an ambitious and calculating man driven to achieve his goal even through any means. “People want to return to a time when we knew our place, and when things made sense,” he says. “Fictional or not.”

Cumberbatch dramatically scrawls on the back of a door in the universal cinematic language for troubled genius, visually scans passersby as potential campaign targets, and zooms in on anti-immigration and race as issues through which Vote Leave can appeal to voters.

He also remains unfazed when Rory Kinnear, playing Remain campaign leader Craig Oliver, tells him he is “feeding a toxic culture of fear and hate”. “There is a new politics in town,” says Cumberbatch’s Cummings in a line that reads heroic or ominous depending upon your political leaning. “One that you can’t control.”

Reaction online has been cool, with many wondering why a film is being made when the real story hasn’t even concluded yet. But just like Brexit itself, it’s coming now and there seems little we can do to stop it. Brexit will air January 19 in the US. No word yet as to an Australian release.