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Benedict Cumberbatch set to play Amazon explorer in ‘Lost City of Z’

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Benedict Cumberbatch is being lined up to portray the 1920s Amazon explorer Percy Fawcett in James Gray’s Lost City of Z, reports Deadline.

In what appears to be the currently red-hot British star’s first starring role in potential blockbuster fare, he will portray a real-life figure who was scorned by his peers after his expeditions in the Brazilian Amazon led him to claim evidence of a hidden ancient metropolis at its heart. Fawcett travelled back into the jungle in 1925 with his son and was never seen again.

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Brad Pitt was attached to play Fawcett in Gray’s film when it was first announced five years ago, but Cumberbatch seems the better fit. The project is still being put together at Pitt’s Plan B production company. Gray is best known for brooding dramas We Own the Night and The Yards as well as this year’s Cannes entry The Immigrant.

Fawcett is said to have been one of George Lucas’s inspirations for Indiana Jones and was also a friend of authors H Rider Haggard and Arthur Conan Doyle; the latter was inspired by the explorer’s stories to write The Lost World. The mystery of what happened to the adventurer remains one of the 20th century’s enduring puzzles: an estimated 100 would-be-rescuers have died in more than 13 expeditions (one as recently as 1996) sent to uncover Fawcett’s fate.

Cumberbatch is set to play Julian Assange in the forthcoming biopic about the WikiLeaks founder, The Fifth Estate, and is voicing both the dragon, Smaug, and the Necromancer in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. He will also star in Steve McQueen’s Oscar-tipped 12 Years a Slave, and has a role in the big-screen adaptation of the Pulitzer and Tony-winning play August: Osage County opposite Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Donald Trump’s tax cut was even worse than we thought

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From the moment it was proposed, the Republicans’ 2017 tax cut law was criticized for benefiting corporations and wealthy Americans. doing comparatively little for low-income Americans, and needlessly blowing a hole in the federal deficit.

About a year and a half since its passage, the criticisms are looking apt. And none of the supposed benefits promised by Republicans — moderate and extremist alike — have materialized. No boom in business investment, no supercharged wages, and no phenomenal jobs growth.

In fact, as new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act appears to have done even less on the “jobs” side of the equation than we previously thought.

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Trump said he wouldn’t cut Medicare — now he says it could be a fun ‘second term project’

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It's unclear if President Donald Trump is trying to lose the 2020 election or he's simply spitballing with right-wing conservatives, but his latest idea is to gut Medicare in his second term according to the New York Times.

During the 2016 campaign there were at least six occasions in which Trump promised he would protect Medicare.

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‘It’s always dread with President Trump’: CNN analyst says G7 leaders are revolted they have to meet with Trump again

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," reporter Abby Phillip said that world leaders are feeling "dread" about the prospect of meeting with President Donald Trump after his latest round of erratic behavior on the world stage.

"There is a big test on foreign relations for President Trump this weekend," said host Brianna Keilar. "He's going to the G7. He, Abby, is headed there after insulting Denmark by pulling out of a state visit, keeping in mind that Denmark is a key intel and military ally of the U.S. What is the mood going into this forum?"

"Honestly, it's always dread with President Trump," said Phillip.

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