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Tom Hiddleston is to replace fellow Briton Benedict Cumberbatch in Guillermo Del Toro’s gothic horror Crimson Peak, reports Deadline.

Hiddleston, star of War Horse, Thor and The Avengers, told Buzzfeed he called his good friend after being offered the role and receiving Cumberbatch’s blessing. The latter stepped away from the part last month for unspecified reasons. Hiddleston will join a cast that already includes Alice in Wonderland’s Mia Wasikowska, Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain, and Pacific Rim’s Charlie Hunnam.

“As these things do, they sent me the script about two weeks ago and it was a very new draft,” said Hiddleston. “I know Mia, who I’ll be playing with very closely, and I know Jessica Chastain very well. I’ve met Guillermo before. And we are all admirers of each others’ stuff. And everyone said yes! I’m really, really excited about it.”

He added: “As soon as Guillermo called, I called Benedict and I said this is happening, and he was like, ‘Amazing!’ So, I had his blessing.”

Del Toro has labelled Crimson Peak “a very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern take on the ghost story”.

He told Deadline last year: “It will allow me to play with the conventions of the genre I know and love, and at the same time subvert the old rules. I think people are getting used to horror subjects done as found footage or B-value budgets. I wanted this to feel like a throwback.”

The film, about a young author who discovers that her charming new husband is not who he appears to be, is due to shoot in Toronto next February ahead of a 2015 release date.

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