There are moments in cinema when a collective wetting of panties results in an advertising ripple heard through the decades, as marketers struggle to give the people what they want.
One such moment was when Colin Firth exited a lake in a dripping-wet white shirt during the BBC's 1995 remake of Pride and Prejudice. The moment so captured the minds and eyes of the viewing public that just last year, a 12-foot-tall statue of Firth's wet torso was erected in a British lake and summarily moistened.
Now, in a genius move, Benedict Cumberbatch, today's No. 1 British heartthrob, has been talked into recreating the Mr. Darcy scene and is about to win a bazillion pounds of awareness for his chosen charity, the anti-cancer initative Give Up Clothes for Good.
The photographer was Jason Bell. He's a guy whose photos you've seen even if you've never heard of him. He was the official photographer for Prince George's christening, and you might also know him as the guy who took that picture of Kate Winslet that GQ Photoshopped into controversy back in 2003.
Boy, did he do a most excellent job capturing a grumpy wet Cumberbatch. You almost get the impression that you've dumped him in the lake and when he gets out he's going to be very PUT OUT. You might also imagine that inspiration for the execution came from Cumberbatch's recent viral Ice Bucket Challenge video, in which he got soaked in not one, not two, but three various states of undress. Or the cut shower scene from Star Trek Into Darkness, which also went viral.
It's like a Russian nesting doll of surly wet Cumberbatches—a batch of 'Batches, if you will. Also, we may have found something to rival cats in Internet ad stardom. Shirtless torsos of hot dudes. Also known as Cold. Hard. Abs.
The Give Up Clothes for Good campaign of getting celebrities to take off some clothes, all PETA style, is going on its 10th anniversary, and there are a bunch of other celebrities lined up to remove their clothes to celebrate this year. But who cares?