In an interview with Shortlist, Cumberbatch, 36, said he is "a bit cynical about why they've chosen to do it" as well as why they cast Jonny Lee Miller in the starring role. Miller, as Cumberbatch notes, is of a similar age to the Sherlock star and is also British. Cumberbatch said Miller asked him if he was OK with him signing on to the project after the two shared the stage in Danny Boyle's Royal National Theatre production of Frankenstein.
"I did say, 'Well, I'd prefer you didn't do it, but you've got a kid to feed, a nice house in LA and a wife to keep in good clothes,'" Cumberbatch says. "When you get used to a certain standard of living and they waft a pay check at you, what are you going to do?"
At a Comic-Con panel for Elementary back in July, Miller said he had spoken with Cumberbatch about the role, but did not divulge exactly what was said. "We wanted to be sure that it was going to be very different, so that was the conversation that we had," Miller said at the time. "He's been very, very supportive actually. We just discussed what a wonderful character it is."
However "cynical" he might be, Cumberbatch still said that he wished Miller "the best of luck" on Elementary. "I think there's room for us both to coexist. I don't feel threatened by it and I wish him the best, which is as diplomatic as I can be."
Elementary premieres Thursday, Sept. 27 at 10/9c on CBS.