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Benedict Cumberbatch’s Chinese car commercial looks a lot like ‘Sherlock’

Gotta pay the bills somehow.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Published Apr 19, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 1:07 am CDT

Star Trek Into Darkness aside, Benedict Cumberbatch has maintained a reputation as a serious, respectable actor. But he’s still got bills to pay, and recently he decided to do what many other Hollywood stars have done before: film a commercial overseas.

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After Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Japanese Jim Beam commercial and Hugh Jackman‘s dancing iced tea ad, Cumberbatch filming a Chinese car commercial is no big deal. The difference is, this ad is a blatant Sherlock ripoff. It’s basically a trailer for a Sherlock fanfic movie where he’s dating a woman with a bright orange car.

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The MG Cars ad sees Cumberbatch following a trail of car-based clues through London, in a style so similar to Sherlock that it skirts dangerously close to copyright infringement. Even the music sounds like the Sherlock soundtrack, as Cumberbatch drives around various London landmarks to an admittedly un-Sherlock-like rendezvous with a young woman.

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You have to wonder what Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat thinks about this, although it’s entirely possible he’s just high-fiving Cumberbatch all the way to the bank.

Screengrab via Marketing Interactive/Vimeo

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*First Published: Apr 19, 2015, 6:45 pm CDT