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Working with Benedict Cumberbatch in Netflix’s ‘Eric’: Sister Boss Jane Featherstone & Abi Morgan Embrace Fearlessness

Global TV and film studio Sister is preparing for a lineup of projects set to make waves on both the small and big screens, with one of its most daring ventures possibly launching today. Netflix’s Eric, a series depicting a father’s desperate search for his missing son in 1980s New York while battling his inner demons, stars Benedict Cumberbatch alongside a custom-made seven-foot puppet visible only to his character, Vincent. The show, created by Abi Morgan, weaves together themes of belonging, addiction, loss, and police brutality, drawing comparisons to both Sesame Street and Taxi Driver.

Sister’s co-founder, Jane Featherstone, emphasized the studio’s commitment to prioritizing talent, highlighting collaborations with esteemed writers like Morgan, Will Sharpe, and Joe Barton. Despite facing challenges due to the impact of Covid and commissioning constraints, Featherstone remains optimistic about the studio’s ability to adapt and thrive in the current industry landscape.

Featherstone commended former Netflix executives Cindy Holland and Jane Wiseman, now leading Sister’s U.S. operations, for their dedication to quality content creation and fostering partnerships with top-tier talent. The studio’s independent status allows it to capitalize on the evolving industry dynamics and explore innovative financing models.

The collaboration with Cumberbatch in Eric was a standout experience for Featherstone, who praised the actor’s fearless portrayal of the complex character. Morgan, the series creator, lauded Cumberbatch’s versatility and dynamic presence on set, particularly in his interactions with the puppet, a pivotal element of the show’s narrative.

Set against the backdrop of 1980s New York, Eric delves into themes of magical realism and psychological exploration, with meticulous attention to detail in the puppet’s design and execution. Morgan drew inspiration from her personal experiences and creative influences, infusing the series with a blend of nostalgia and dark undertones.

The ensemble cast, including Gaby Hoffmann and McKinley Belcher III, brings Morgan’s vision to life, showcasing the collaborative and innovative spirit fostered by Featherstone at Sister. As Eric premieres globally on Netflix, Morgan hopes the series will resonate with audiences and carve out its place in the ever-evolving TV landscape.