Benedict Cumberbatch is now open to having a female Sherlock Holmes. The actor who has been playing the contemporary version of the character for 4 seasons is now in the hit BBC TV series Sherlock and has made it very clear that he has no problem with gender switch for the fan-favorite detective.
Coming off of the announcement that British series Doctor Who has tapped Jodie Whittaker to take over Peter Capaldi, discussion on gender-swapping popular roles in the mainstream media are becoming frequent. After many years of campaigns for a female doctor, the Broadchurch star was announced to be the 13th regeneration of this character. Not everyone was receptive to the change, and some questioned the decision, but many are thrilled to see Whittaker’s take on such a pop culture icon.
Speaking to Variety during the promotion of his drama The Child In Time, the Oscars-nominated actor leaped to Doctor Who‘s casting defense and said that he was excited to see Whittaker’s Doctor:
“It’s an alien. Why can’t it be a woman, why can’t it be any gender? It doesn’t matter to me. I don’t speak as someone who has the right as a fan to have an incredibly strong opinion. I just speak as someone who wants to see Jodie Whittaker’s performance as the Doctor. I think she’s an extraordinary actress and we’re lucky, culturally, to have got her to agree to do it, let alone any debate ensuing about whether it’s right or wrong.”
Given his approval of a female Doctor, Cumberbatch was then asked about his thoughts of possibly also having a female version of his sassy detective role, Sherlock Holmes. Similar to his thoughts on Doctor Who, Cumberbatch does not see any problem with having a female Sherlock Holmes appear on either the small and big screen in the future. “Why not? I don’t care. ‘Sherlockina’ is coming to you soon,” he said.
While Cumberbatch has a point on Doctor Who‘s gender swap, it may be complicated to do a similar thing with Sherlock. The Time Lord’s regeneration every few years provides the series an opportunity to execute the lead modification without having to get into the details of what happened to the previous iterations.
Sherlock’s various incantations are rather independent of one another. So, should a female Holmes makes her debut, then it would be a separate entity from Cumberbatch’s version.