Benedict Cumberbatch will show off his villainous side when he plays Richard III in a new BBC2 film.

The Sherlock star will portray Shakespeare’s notorious hunchbacked baddie in a new series of The Bard’s history plays. It follows on from 2012’s Bafta-winning The Hollow Crown, which featured star-studded adaptations of Richard II, Henry IV Parts I & II and Henry V.

Richard III will be directed by theatre director Dominic Cooke and the new run, again executive-produced by Sam Mendes, will also feature adaptations of Shakespeare’s other Wars of the Roses plays, Henry VI Parts I & II.

“I can’t wait to work with Dominic Cooke to bring this complex, funny and dangerous character to life for the BBC and Neal Street Productions’ peerless series of Shakespeare’s history plays,” says Benedict.

In a uncanny twist, Benedict’s Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman will play Richard III in the West End later this year, while Benedict himself will tackle Shakespeare’s Hamlet on stage at London’s Barbican next year.