(1) Robert Downey Jr. will once again play the British detective in Sherlock Holmes 2, (2) a new, authorized Sherlock Holmes mystery novel will hit the stands in September of this year (3) Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Masterpiece Mystery’s 21st century incarnation of the detective.
Sherlock Holmes II (the film) is set in the year 1891, a year after the events in the first film, and will have Holmes chasing Moriarity and Dr. Watson pursuing his love life whilst assisting the detective. Downey says: “Unlike last time, where Holmes kept getting Watson into trouble, this time Watson is getting Holmes out of trouble, and they’re both in deeper trouble than I think the audience could have imagined we could go…. All manner of nastiness has just occurred.”
This time out, the duo are joined by the feisty Sim, played by actress Noomi Rapace. Also making an appearance is Sherlock’s brother Mycroft Holmes, played by actor Stephen Fry, a character who producer Susan Downey (Robert’s wife) describes as “stranger and perhaps even more brilliant” than the English detective. Fry recently said, “I play Mycroft, Sherlock Holmes’ brother – the smarter brother, I hasten to add. He’s so lazy that he never gets the reputation that Sherlock does. Historically it’s a very interesting character, and as a lover of Sherlock Holmes since I was a boy I’ve always enjoyed that character myself. I hope that people enjoy it. It’s certainly been fun making the picture.” And how does Fry feel about a Yank playing the iconically British Holmes? “To some extent, but he’s such a charismatic and likeable screen presence, Robert, that you very soon forget it. More than most, he owns every second of screen time. He’s just wonderfully likeable. He’s the real thing.”
The film opens in October in the UK and in December in the US.
Meanwhile, author and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz has been tapped by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate to write a brand new Sherlock Holmes mystery novel. Horowitz said he’s writing “a first-rate mystery for a modern audience while remaining absolutely true to the spirit of the original.” Orion publisher Jon Wood promised the author’s “passion for Holmes and his consummate narrative trickery will ensure that this new story will not only blow away Conan Doyle aficionados but also bring the sleuth to a whole new audience.”
This is the first time that the Estate has tapped anyone to continue the Holmes tradition and it’s no wonder they chose Horowitz, who has proven his story telling abilities by creating Foyle’s War and contributing to several other crime drama series, including Midsomer Murders and adaptations of Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels.
And finally, we can all look forward to Benedict Cumberbatch’s return as Holmes in three new Masterpiece Mystery episodes this Autumn. The game is certainly afoot.