Benedict Cumberbatch will star in and executive-produce a limited series for Showtime based on Edward St. Aubyn's bestselling Patrick Melrose novels, the network announced Tuesday.

Melrose will be a five-part series in which Cumberbatch will play the titular character, an aristocratic playboy who grew up with an abusive father and exceedingly permissive mother. The novels chronicle Melrose's traumatic childhood and an adulthood plagued by substance abuse.

In a 2013 Reddit AMA, Cumberbatch said that if he could play any literary character, it would be Patrick Melrose.

Is Season 4 the final chapter of Sherlock?

"We are delighted to be part of this incredible series," Cumberbatch and co-executive producer Adam Ackland said in a joint statement. "We have been huge fans of these books for many years and David Nicholls' adaptations are extraordinary."



All five hour-long episodes, each of which will encompass one of St. Aubyn's novels, will be written by David Nicholls. The project is scheduled to begin shooting in New York, London and the South of France in August and will be set in early 2000s Britain, 1980s New York and the 1960s in the South of France.

"I've been a huge admirer of Edward St Aubyn's novels for years, and can't wait to bring these dark, witty, brilliant books to the screen," Nicholls said in a statement. "Benedict is the perfect Patrick Melrose."

Cumberbatch won an Emmy in 2014 for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock, and has also been nominated for a Golden Globe for the show. In 2015, he was nominated for several awards, including a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and an Oscar, for his performance in The Imitation Game.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of Showtime's parent companies.)