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Robert Downey Jr. Confirms Sherlock Holmes Role With Guy Ritchie Directing For Warner Bros.

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CHICAGO – While the leap from 2008 blockbuster film “Iron Man” to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s titular mega sleuth wouldn’t seem the most logical next move for “A”-lister Robert Downey Jr., he will indeed play perhaps the most famed detective in literary history: Sherlock Holmes.

Guy Ritchie (“Revolver,” “Snatch,” “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”) will direct the film for Warner Bros. Early reaction to the announcement worries some film pundits.

Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark and Iron Man in 2008's Iron Man (left) and Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes (right) in 1939's The Hound of the Baskervilles
Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark and Iron Man in 2008’s “Iron Man” (left) and Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes (right) in 1939’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles”.
Image credits: Paramount Pictures (left image) and BBC (right image)

Josh Horowitz at MTV wrote moments ago: “[Robert Downey Jr.] will surely make something arresting and innovative out of the part, but … does it have to be helmed by Guy? Does anything on his resume give you hope he has a Sherlock tale in him? I worry.”

The Hollywood Reporter adds: “The movie, which will shoot in the fall, takes its cue from a forthcoming comic book that producer Lionel Wigram wrote as a selling tool for a new take on the classic character. The concept sees Holmes as more adventurous and less stuffy than previous screen incarnations and mines more obscure character traits.”

E! Online reminds us: “This is not to be confused with the other awesome-sounding Arthur Conan Doyle-inspired film Judd Apatow is producing for Columbia Pictures with Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell set to star as [Sherlock] Holmes and Dr. Watson.”

The Robert Downey Jr.-starring and Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes film is slated to begin filming in Oct. 2008 with a release date in 2010.

HollywoodChicago.com editor-in-chief Adam Fendelman


Sam_Locke's picture

Very interesting...

I’m willing to check this out…

I just find it interesting that, in the past week, two studios are trying to revitalize a series that’s become regulated to television specials on BBC, in two completely different ways.

One with Robert Downey Jr. portraying the part (hopefully he won’t go the Kevin Costner “Robin Hood” route, and will learn a british accent.) for what seems to be a more serious portrayal…

The other a ridiculous (and probably hilarious) pairing of Baron Cohen and Ferrell as the Watson/Holmes team…

All in all, nice to see new life breathed back into Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic creation.

HollywoodChicago.com's picture


Agreed, and they’ll certainly be done differently. Based on attached talent, which do you think holds more promise and punch?

Sam_Locke's picture

comedy or drama

I think that’s totally in the hands of “do you want to laugh, or a serious Holmes movie”

Dustin's picture

I like Chaplin

I like Chaplin

Anonymous's picture

No worries!  He had an

No worries!  He had an accent for “Chaplin” and executed it well.

Brian's picture

Thank you.

…For saving my brain cells and not saying he was a “sure lock” in the headline.

HollywoodChicago.com's picture

I wouldn't, but...

I wouldn’t, but that is surely funny. :-)

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