Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant both play ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko – .

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Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant both play ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko – .


Left: Benedict Cumberbatch (Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images), Right: David Tennant (Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images)

Left: Benedict Cumberbatch (Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images), Right: David Tennant (Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images)

See, it must have happened some day: David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch, those big-eyed British idols, have officially signed on to play the same guy. That is, Cumberbatch just signed to play the former KGB spy, turned defector, became “guy who got very sick, very quickly, then died of polonium poisoning during try to denounce the wrongdoing of the Russian Federal Security Service, » Alexandre Litvinenko, in a new show for HBO.

What is interesting, both on his own merits – Litvinenko, the first person to be confirmed to have been killed by polonium-210 poisoning, and a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin’s government, is an interesting guy in his own right – and because that puts him on a direct collision course with a similar project, set up at ITV in the UK, with Holding in the same role.

Shockingly enough, Tennant and Cumberbatch never worked together directly on a single TV or film project: the adaptation Neil Gaiman / Terry Pratchett Good omens, which Tennant stars, and Cumberbatch has a brief voice role. (As the Dwrong, no.)

Their careers overlap quite a bit though, especially in their joint association with Steven Moffat, who wrote some of Tennant’s most beloved episodes. Docteur Who before helping launch Cumberbatch to global stardom with Sherlock. (They are also lucky to both MCU alumni, though the nebulous canonicity of Marvel’s Netflix shows these days makes Tennant’s tenure on Jessica Jones a bit of a question mark.)

Now, however, apparently it’s time to start The dome of the place for the battle of the british guys Pretend to die slowly while playing a former Russian spy. Cumberbatch will play Litvinenko, who wrote two books accusing Putin-controlled security assets of committing acts of terrorism and assassination, before dying suddenly in 2006.-in Londongrad, which is in development at HBO. The project is, through Variety, based on The terminal spy, by author Alan Cowell, and is written by All the money in the world the writer David Scarpa.

The Tennant Project (titled Just Litvinenko) was announced in September, and would put more emphasis on Litvinenko’s widow, Marina, who has spent years since his death making headlines campaigning for justice. (Margarita Levieva, who recently starred in the devil, will play it.) The series is written by Lupinis George Kay.

It’s not yet clear when either project will see the light of day, but we’ll be really interested to see what each of them does with this particular high-profile part.

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