Vice, the Dick Cheney biopic from Adam McKay, isn’t the only political film due out this winter. On January 19th, Brexit will premiere on HBO. Directed by Toby Haynes and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the film tells the story behind the controversial vote to remove the United Kingdom from the European Union. The trailer dropped at the tail end of a tumultuous week in British politics that featured the nabbing of a parliamentary mace and embattled Prime Minister Theresa May surviving a confidence vote.
In Brexit, Cumberbatch plays Dominic Cummings, the political strategist who directed the “Vote to Leave” campaign that prevailed when the referendum was held in the summer of 2016. Though Cumberbatch’s performance does look powerful, the real star of the trailer is his wispy combover. The complexities of the campaign to leave the E.U. may have been difficult to encapsulate in under two hours, but nothing could compare the Herculean task of replicating the hairstyles of some of the movement’s major players. It’s not just Cummings, either…
— James Wrighton (@JamesWrighton) December 14, 2018
Many drew parallels between the success of the conservative Vote To Leave campaign and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. One factor that aided both movements was the use of social media, and Brexit will focus on how Cummings weaponized the Internet to spread propaganda.
“This is an insurgence against the establishment,” Cumberbatch says in the trailer. “We will build something that will re-stack the odds in our favor.”