(written from a Production point of view)
Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch, CBE (born 19 July 1976; age 39) is an English actor who played Khan Noonien Singh (aka "John Harrison") in Star Trek Into Darkness. In February 2012, several images and video from the filming of the climactic fight scene between Cumberbatch's Khan and Zachary Quinto's Spock appeared on the web.  Cumberbatch appeared on two cards of the 2013 virtual collectible card battle game Star Trek: Rivals, card #105 titled Commander J. Harrison and card #111 titled Human Augment Khan.
Cumberbatch is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on the BBC drama program Sherlock, which premiered in 2010 and has as of 2014 ten episodes. Cumberbatch received a Britannia Award at the 2013 BAFTA/LA Britannia Awards as British Artist of the Year, honoring his work on Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and an MTV Movie Award nomination in the category Best Villain for his work on Into Darkness.  
On 12 June 2015, Cumberbatch was honored by Queen Elizabeth and named Commander of the Order of the British Empire. 
Early life and career Edit
Born in London, England, Cumberbatch is the son of actors Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham. Following education at Brambletye School in West Sussex, he received an arts scholarship to Harrow School, where he began performing in school plays. He made his acting debut at age 13, playing Titania, Queen of the Fairies, in a Harrow production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. He later studied drama at the University of Manchester and continued training as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Cumberbarch began his professional acting career on the stage in 2001 and made the transition to television and film a year later. He was lauded for his performance as Stephen Hawking in the 2004 BBC drama Hawking, which featured his future Star Trek Into Darkness co-star, Alice Eve. He and Eve again appeared together in the 2006 feature film Starter for 10. Cumberbatch also gave a critically-acclaimed performance as William Pitt in the 2006 film Amazing Grace.
Film career (2007–present) Edit
Cumberbatch has worked with two other actors who played villains in Star Trek films. He starred opposite Tom Hardy in the 2007 television movie Stuart: A Life Backwards; both actors later appeared in the 2011 adaptation of John le Carre's espionage thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Cumberbatch also appeared with Eric Bana in the 2008 film The Other Boleyn Girl.
Cumberbatch's other film credits include the 2007 adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel Atonement and Steven Spielberg's 2011 drama War Horse. He also provided the voices and performance-captures of Smaug the dragon and the Necromancer in the three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, opposite his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman. Cumberbatch began working on The Hobbit after starting filming on Star Trek Into Darkness: a body scan of Cumberbatch created for Star Trek was given to Weta Digital to make the motion capture mask he wore for his roles in The Hobbit.  The first film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, was released in 2012.
Five months after his appearance in Star Trek Into Darkness, Cumberbatch appeared on the cover of Time magazine. The shoot came about after photographer Paola Kudacki took her nephews to see the film, and one of them commented "He has such an interesting face." 
In addition to Star Trek Into Darkness and The Desolation of Smaug, Cumberbatch appeared in several other high-profile films released in 2013. He was part of the ensemble cast of the film adaptation of Tracy Letts' play August: Osage County and had a principal role in 12 Years a Slave (based on Solomon Northup's memoir), which co-stars Alfre Woodard. Cumberbatch also starred as controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the dramatic thriller The Fifth Estate, in which former DS9 star Alexander Siddig has a supporting role.
Cumberbatch provided the voices of actor Alan Rickman and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the Feb. 10, 2013 episode of The Simpsons titled "Love Is a Many Splintered Thing." He also produced and starred in a short film called Little Favour.
In 2014, Cumberbatch portrayed Alan Turing in the biopic The Imitation Game, and lent his voice to the DreamWorks Animation film The Penguins of Madagascar as well as to Smaug for the final time in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
Upcoming projects Edit
Cumberbatch will portray Richard III in the second series of the BBC's The Hollow Crown. He will lend his voice to the animated project Magik (2015), and play British explorer Percy Fawcett in the biopic The Lost City of Z which is currently in pre-production. He has been cast as the Marvel Comics sorcerer Doctor Strange in a 2016 film of the same name.
He replaced Guy Pearce as Massachusetts State Senator Billy Bulger in the James "Whitey" Bulger biopic Black Mass, which also stars Adam Scott as FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick.
Also announced is Cumberbatch's particicpation in Warner Bros. upcoming live-action film Jungle Book: Origins, set for a 2017 release. Cumberbatch will voice Shere Khan in Andy Serkis' directorial debut. 
Cumberbatch is engaged to theater director Sophie Hunter: the couple are expecting their first child.