Benedict Cumberbatch’s film project is being turned into a TV series instead

Studiocanal and SunnyMarch are teaming up to adapt Matt Haig’s novel How to Stop Time into a TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

How to Stop Time, TV series, StudioCanal, SunnyMarch

People say that time waits for no one, but what if you could stop the clock? Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) is about to discover the answer when his How to Stop Time movie project goes from being developed as a film to becoming a TV series. Studiocanal is teaming up SunnyMarch to turn Matt Haig’s novel into an episodic exploration of aging and the consequences of becoming eternal. Studiocanal CEO Anna Marsh announced the project at Mip TV today, saying the How to Stop Time series will consist of six episodes, with Cumberbatch and Studiocanal attached.

How to Stop Time is an intense gender-bender focusing on men and women who live for hundreds of years after contracting a rare condition. Tom Hazard has lived for hundreds of years and is sick and tired of losing everything he loves.

Here’s the synopsis for Haig’s novel via Amazon:

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but he’s been alive for centuries because of a rare condition. From performing with Shakespeare to exploring the high seas with Captain Cook to sharing cocktails with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom has seen a lot. But now, after over 400 years of reinventing himself to escape detection, he just wants an ordinary life. The only rule he has to follow is don’t fall in love.

When Tom catches the eye of a captivating woman named Camille at the dog park, everything unravels. Caught between the danger of discovery and the desire to build a real life, Tom learns that the thing he can’t have might be the thing that saves him.

A wild, bittersweet, time-traveling story, How to Stop Time is about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change, the perils of love, and the mistakes humans are doomed to repeat. It asks the question, How many lifetimes does it take to learn how to live?

“When I first read How to Stop Time, the potential of this story was immediately obvious,” said Cumberbatch. “In his inimitable style, Matt once again explores what it is to be human and what it is to live a life – a very long one in this case – with pathos, insight, humour, drama and inspiration.”

Tea “hugely exciting and ambitious series” offers a fascinating window into the wonders and pitfalls of eternal life. Some people say life is only worth living because it’s short, and you must make the most of it while you’re here. Do you agree? If you could stop time and live for hundreds of years, would you? Let us know in the comments below.