The Absolutely Fabulous movie is expected to feature a host of famous faces including Lara Stone, Cara Delevingne and Tinie Tempah but Benedicth Cumberbatch will not be one of them. The Sherlock star turned down the chance to star alongside Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley due to work commitments.
In her onset diary, published in the Telegraph Magazine, Saunders writes: "Mandie Fletcher, our director, is trying to lock down the casting of cameo roles between takes and sometimes I have to sit with her in a nice chair, eating a delicious Brie baguette, and throwing out names like Benedict Cumberbatch.
"Although Benedict Cumberbatch, it turns out, is busy for the next five and a half years..."
She later vents: "What is it with actors? We are offering tiny, tiny, tiny roles that will take up minuscule amounts of time and it's, 'Oh no, sorry, I'm busy doing films', or, 'So sorry, I am going round the world with all my actor friends for the next two years', or a simple, 'I'm dead!'"
Although she was not happy about the snub, Saunders can find some solace in the fact that the star-studded roster still includes fashion designers Giles Deacon and Jean Paul Gaultier, Kate Moss Dawn French, Nick Grimshaw, Perez Hilton and Harry Styles.
Absolutely Fabulous was first created by Saunders in 1992. The award-winning BBC comedy series followed the boozy lives of characters Eddie Monsoon – played by Saunders – and Patsy Stone (Lumley) who worked in fashion and PR. It ran for five series over two decades. The scandalous portrayal of the world of fashion will continue when the big-screen adaptation hits UK cinemas on 1 July.
This time around the story will focus on Eddie accidentally killing off Moss. Saunders admitted that she was worried when she approached the British supermodel. "I had written the whole film and sold it before I even thought to ask Kate whether she would appear in it, which was a bit frightening. A few people asked me if I thought she would do it and I said 'yes, of course'. Thankfully she was fantastic about it and great to work with."