The second in a series of two-hour film adaptations of William Shakespeare's historical plays Henry VI Part 1, Henry V1 Part 2 and Richard III, The Hollow Crown follows Richard Plantagenet (Cumberbatch) as he emerges to become the first Duke of York and then the infamous King Richard III of England.
The trailer, released Monday, features the bloody War of the Roses and the future king plotting his way to the crown as he heads into battle.
Directed by Dominic Cooke, the television special also stars Judi Dench, Hugh Bonneville, Sophie Okonedo and Keeley Hawes. While discussing the project with The Express, Cooke applauded Cumberbatch's portrayal of King Richard III.
"He's very charming and sexy and compelling and funny and I think people are going to really enjoy it. We enjoy watching scary things and sometimes horrible things," the director said of Cumberbatch. "There are some people who are overpraised but Benedict is the real deal, I think his performance is extraordinary," he added.
The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses premiers May 7 on BBC2.