Action. Adventure. Excitement. Not the words you’d usually associate with Sherlock Holmes. “I literally fell asleep watching one of the old Basil Rathbone movies,” admits Susan (wife of Robert) Downey, who, alongside Lionel Wigram (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and Joel Silver (where do we even start?), is producing Sherlock Holmes, the latest take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s pipe-smoking master detective. Charged with breathing new life into the stodgy old dick (heh, heh) is Guy Ritchie, a choice that is nothing short of predestination, according to Wigram: “When I first began defining this movie, I described it as ‘the Guy Ritchie version of Sherlock Holmes.’ I wanted something that was going to have that sense of fun and adventure you have when you read the books. They were the blockbusters of their time.” A return to the source material is wise, but is the trio tempting fate by casting American Robert Downey Jr. as the iconic Englishman and Jude Law as the doddering Dr. Watson? “The question of who was going to play Watson was complicated,” explains Silver. “Everyone saw him as this overweight, stuffy guy—but he was a military man.” As for the near revolt that ensued when non-Brits played that other fictional Londoner, James Bond, Wigram sees no reason to worry. “As a Brit,” he chuckles, “I can say there was no resistance to Robert playing Holmes. He proved himself with Chaplin.” Cheerio, muthafuckas.
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