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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

daily list: 5 great actors to play the new Sherlock Holmes

Guy Ritchie will write and direct a new film about the world’s first consulting detective, Victorian supersleuth Sherlock Holmes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story

takes its cues from a forthcoming comic that [producer Lionel] Wigram wrote as a selling tool for a new take on the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character. The concept sees the character be more adventuresome and less stuffy than previous screen incarnations and mines on more obscure character traits.

Which suggests to me lots of shooting up of cocaine, late-night violin jam sessions, and over-the-top woman-hating.

Which brings us to the inevitable question: Who could possibly play a new Sherlock Holmes? Naturally, I’ve got a few ideas:
1. David Tennant. Give him John Simm as Professor Moriarty, lots of running around to do, and a few chances to say things like, “It’s elementary, my dear Watson– well, it’s a little tougher than that– well, you’d pretty much have to be brilliant old me to figure it out” and we’re set.

2. Ewan McGregor. Call it Trainspotting at Kings Cross Where We’ll Catch the 12:15 to Brighton and give him a needle and he’ll always come up with the seven-percent solution.

3. John Barrowman. Give him Ianto Jones (ie, actor Gareth David-Lloyd) as Watson, and they don’t need no stinkin’ women. With Eve Myles as Mrs. Hudson, of course.

4. Colin Farrell. And watch him smash violins around Victorian hotel rooms. Cuz that would be awesome.

5. Eddie Izzard. Tea in the parlor, or death? Plus, discover a really obscure character trait even Watson never knew about: crossdressing.

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  • misterb

    To me, Jeremy Brett will always be Sherlock Holmes. And if he isn’t stuffy, he isn’t Sherlock. However, Sherlock was plenty adventuresome; after all, most of the stories were called “The Adventure of …”
    I hope this isn’t the kind of movie that aims at young illiterates where Sherlock becomes a young rock and roller who solves crimes with his iPod.

    That said, Ciaran Hinds is the closest thing to Jeremy Brett today.

  • t6

    Idris Elba!

    Give the man some more work. Never happen though.

  • I would kill to see Eddie Izzard play Sherlock Holmes.

  • spikewriter

    Eddie Izzard as Holmes and David Tennant as Watson? I do like the idea of John Simm as Moriarty, though.

    But, ooh, Ciaran Hinds would be lovely.

  • My friends, only The Gene Genie is right for the part of Holmes. Look inside yourself, you know it to be true. Then, with Simm as Moriarty, you’d have the two most electric performers in the UK on screen together again.

    And Watson? Ricky Gervais of course.

  • Paul Hayes

    I think one of the only – or probably *the* only – bad thing about Steven Moffat taking over Doctor Who is that I can’t see how he’ll have time to do his Sherlock Holmes series now.

    Then again, he was still talking about it in interviews earlier this year, and according to the interview in the Radio Times this week he’d known he was going to be the new showrunner since last July, so who knows?

    If Doctor Who hasn’t scuppered it, I hope this Richie project also being in development doesn’t.

  • PaulW

    Why does it have to be a Brit? Why not Hugh Jackman?

  • Van Helsing… that’s why.

  • KBLee

    Please, no more short-nosed Sherlocks.

    What about Jeremy Northam? Still a bit dishy, and has a respectable beak. Am still not over Basil Rathbone.

  • bluestationwagon

    What about Jack Davenport from Pirates of the Caribbean? He looked a lot more interesting in the second movie after he lost the wig. He seemed to have the seriousness to play Holmes well.

  • MaryAnn

    Hey, you cannot blame Van Helsing on Jackman. It so was not his fault…

  • Look inside yourself, you know it to be true. Then, with Simm as Moriarty, you’d have the two most electric performers in the UK on screen together again.Then again, he was still talking about it in interviews earlier this year, and according to the interview in the Radio Times this week he’d known he was going to be the new showrunner since last July, so who knows?

  • How about Hugh Laurie? Or is the fact he is already basically playing Holmes on House a detriment?

  • Vie Lynne

    If Sherlock Holmes is stuffy, than Moriarty was a sweet person! I don’t understand the ‘stuffy’ part!?
    Anyway, he was NOT a women hater, and at least he had the guts to kick the drug HABIT!
    I certainly hope they get a dark haired, aquilined featured guy this time….

  • MaryAnn

    Have you read any of the Holmes stories, Vie Lynne? Holmes had absolutely no use for women. If this new movie wants to “mine obscure character traits,” that’s one to go to. And so is the drug habit, which has tended to get downplayed in many adaptations.

  • If you’re hinting that Holmes might have been gay, that was all explored in Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes back in 1970.

  • And Wilder was an infinitely cleverer film-maker than Guy fucking Ritchie will ever be.

  • MaryAnn

    I wasn’t suggesting that Holmes is gay. He always seemed pretty asexual to me.

  • angel

    You are completely right, David Tennant would be fabulous.

    BUT…. Jeremy Northam would be perfectly incredible! Please, oh please, somebody make this happen.

    And because I just want to see more of them, if Jeremey or David can’t do it, how about Christopher Eccleston or Ciaran Hinds?

    (Two Doctors… yes, I admit it – I am a who-aholic. Best gateway drug EVER!)

  • Richard E Grant could be a great Holmes…just my personal opinion. A good Watson is a problem (I love the Barrowman/David-Lloyd combination, but Barrowman is too handsome and David-Lloyd is too young), but I have faith in someone like Jack Davenport. Moriarty is very tricky, but Anthony Head could perhaps do it. He has a very good…chemistry with Grant.

    And I have to say this…with all the evidence out there, I think that Holmes was gay. They left London in April 1895, they went to the Turkish baths after it was considered bad form because of the gayness of it, and there’s just that…playing Watson to sleep with his violin…but that is strictly personal opinion, albeit researched, and one cannot know Conan Doyle’s true intension. But I would love to see a gay Holmes. Even if I think Jeremy Brett is the best one ever…all hail Jeremy Brett!

  • Alyssa

    I also think Jack Davenport would make a great Sherlock Holmes. But yes, Jeremy Brett will always, to me, be Holmes.

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