Benedict Cumberbatch is to star in and executive produce Melrose,  a five part mini-series based on the comic novels of Edward St. Aubyn.

The books will be adapted by David Nicholls (Far From the Madding CrowdOne Day), with shooting to begin in August in London, New York and the South of France.

The Doctor Strange star will play Patrick Melrose, an outrageous aristocratic playboy who struggles to overcome the damage inflicted by a horribly abusive father and the mother who tacitly condoned the behavior.

“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 says. “Benedict is the perfect Patrick Melrose.”