The British actor will play Holmes' nemesis in the Guy Ritchie film, which will star Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Stephen Fry and Noomi Rapace, according to LatinoReview.com.
Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle's Moriarty is considered by many the most treacherous of literary bad guys.
The character was most recently played onscreen by Moulin Rouge! star Richard Roxburgh in A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Last year super-producer Joel Silver mounted an abortive attempt to revive the blockbuster Lethal Weapon franchise and though the project quickly fell apart after star Mel Gibson passed on the idea Silver’s yen for a new Buddy Cop franchise persisted. His dream has been realized albeit in a slightly modified form by Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes a propulsive thoroughly modern action movie.
In the hands of Ritchie and his able stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic crime-solving duo has been recast as a Victorian Riggs and Murtaugh. Downey’s Holmes is a brash brilliant rogue prone to fits of both inspiration and crippling melancholy; Law’s Watson is his steady and cautious counterpart disgusted by his partner’s self-destructive tendencies but fiercely loyal to him nonetheless. Both wield fists as sharp as their wits trading verbal jabs with each other as often as they dispense beatdowns to London’s colorful collection of brawny toothless goons.
Sherlock Holmes’ story such as it is mimics portions of The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure plunging Holmes and Watson into a sweeping mystery involving secret societies governments conspiracies and heavy doses of the occult. Their nemesis is not Moriarty (he appears only in shadow presumably saving himself for a sequel) but Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) a devil-worshiping aristocratic mad scientist who aspires to rule England and invade America.
It’s all rather preposterous — and occasionally incoherent — action movie fluff. But it’s also an infectious rollicking good yarn. Best known for his flashy muscular visual style which all too often feels distractingly anachronistic in Sherlock Holmes Ritchie doesn’t get enough credit for his devilishly acute sense of humor the lack of which was the most notable feature of his regrettable Madonna period. It’s back with a vengeance in this film which builds a convincing case based on Downey’s sly subversive charm and the chemistry he forges with Law. The two actors are so good together in fact that Sherlock Holmes’ two female characters played by Rachel McAdams and Kelly Reilly seem to exist solely to provide the occasional reminder that Holmes and Watson are in indeed heterosexual. Did they succeed? That perhaps is a mystery to be solved in the sequel.
Robert Downey Jr. stars as the legendary detective in Guy Ritchie's new movie, which is set for release in December (09). Brit actor Jude Law is taking on the role of Dr. Watson.
The film's epic trailer has received mixed reviews by critics - but movie chiefs are busily rounding up writers to draft a script for a follow-up to the Arthur Conan Doyle tale, according to Hollywood Reporter's RiskyBiz blog.
Law has already expressed his desire for the film to be turned into a movie franchise, so the cast can work on more detective stories: "We would love that the audience falls in love with it (the movie) as much as we have, as then we can (make) a whole bunch more."
Downey Jr. is also keen to star in a follow-up: "We definitely agreed to renegotiate for a part two. We feel really strongly about that. We might shoot the next one abroad."
The Alfie star takes on the role of Dr. Watson alongside Robert Downey Jr. as the legendary detective in Guy Ritchie's new epic.
Law admits he relished the chance to bring Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories to the big screen and hopes the public enjoy the new movie, because there is plenty more material for sequels.
He tells Empire magazine, "No (it will not be a one-off). The more you work on the substance of a film, the more you go back to the source material and the more you realise there is to tell. There are fantastic stories and even better characters. We would love that the audience falls in love with it (the movie) as much as we have, as then we can (make) a whole bunch more.
While Downey Jr. reveals he too is keen to film a follow-up, adding, "We definitely agreed to renegotiate for a part two. We feel really strongly about that. We might shoot the next one abroad.".
Today Warner Bros. dropped the first full-length trailer for Sherlock Holmes, featuring Robert Downey Jr. in the titular role of the intrepid British detective. Shot in director Guy Ritchie’s trademark quick-cut, hyperactive style, the new clip casts Holmes as unkempt, unshaven and uninterested in generally accepted standards of behavior, which is pretty much in-line with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original vision of the character.
It’s a fine trailer, to be sure, and all signs point to Ritchie continuing his post-Madonna renaissance. However, questions about the trailer remain: What made Holmes join an underground fight club? Where did the nunchucks come from? Why is Rachel McAdams dressed like a dominatrix? And finally, how come Downey’s English accent is better than Jude Law’s?
Hopefully, some of these questions will be answered in subsequent trailers. Until then, check out the current one for yourself. Sherlock Holmes opens in theaters December 25, 2009.
MORE NEWS: Lee's 'Earl' Cancelled
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
A mysterious loner with a murky criminal past arrives in Spain ostensibly to carry out a mission though it’s not quite clear exactly what that might be. He walks (and walks and walks and walks) through various city streets towns and fields across the country on a journey that may be partially a dream or may be something else.
WHO’S IN IT?
Jarmusch veteran Isaach De Bankole (Night on Earth Ghost Dog Coffee and Cigarettes) is saddled with the role identified only as the Lone Man. Mainly he keeps returning to the same places and having the same conversations with people who remind him that “those who know they’re bigger than the rest should go to the cemetery.” Others ask him questions in Spanish (whether he understands any Spanish is unclear) to which he always replies in the negative. It’s an oddly silent deadpan performance written and played in one dimension. Other Jarmusch regulars also turn up including Bill Murray (for five minutes near the end) John Hurt Youki Kudoh Alex Descas and Tilda Swinton. If there was one reason to see this drivel it’s for Swinton’s trippy performance in blonde wig and big dark glasses — a lively cameo filled with filmic references from Rita Hayworth to Michelangelo Antonioni. The cast is rounded out with other fine actors whose talents are completely wasted including Gael Garcia Bernal Hiam Abbass and Paz de la Huerta.
Spain looks like a nice place to visit.
The Limits of Control is the kind of indulgence some filmmakers fall into when they feel they want to “stretch.” Unfortunately Jarmusch who has done some very interesting and distinctive film work including Down by Law Stranger Than Paradise and Broken Flowers just doesn’t have a story worth telling here. Experimental is fine but there should be some semblance of a coherent theme or point of view. Instead we mainly watch this guy walk in a dreamlike state for about two hours trying to figure out the meaning of a matchbox and repeatedly returning to the same waiter at an outdoor café to order two espressos in separate cups.
MOST MEMORABLE LINE OF DIALOGUE:
It’s a three-way tie:
”Wait three days until you see the bread. The guitar will find you.”
“Among us there are those who are not among us.”
And finally …
“Sometimes there are films where people just sit there.” (You got that one right!)
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX:
Netflix. At least if you snore through most of this you won’t be disturbing anyone else.
July 10, 2008 6:37am EST
Robert Downey Jr. will star in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. The drama is the first time Downey will go before the cameras since his blockbuster turn in Iron Man. Variety says Downey committed to the film, which begins shooting in October, after Ritchie turned in the latest version of the script.
Warner Bros. is planning an October 2009 release date.
The basis for the film is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic tales, but also the forthcoming comic book Sherlock Holmes that producer Lionel Wigram wrote as a selling tool for a new take on the classic character.
The comic’s concept sees Holmes as more adventurous than previous screen incarnations and delves more into his obscure character traits, says The Hollywood Reporter.
A rival production, albeit a comedy, is gearing up at Columbia with Sacha Baron Cohen playing Holmes, and Will Ferrell playing his crime-fighting partner Dr. Watson. No director is as-yet attached. Judd Apatow will produce that project.
Downey next will be seen in Tropic Thunder later this summer and then stars with Jamie Foxx in The Soloist. He'll play Iron Man’s Tony Stark again in the sequel with Jon Favreau directing.
He is also attached to star in DreamWorks' Cowboys and Aliens.
Of course 21 isn’t just about blackjack. It’s more about Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) a shy but brilliant M.I.T. student who--needing to pay Harvard medical school tuition--finds the answers in the cards so to speak. After dazzling his unorthodox math professor and stats genius Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey) with some mathematical prowess Ben is quickly indoctrinated into Rosa’s group of “gifted” students who head to Las Vegas every weekend with the know-how to count cards and beat the casino at the blackjack tables. And win big they do. Ben is soon seduced by the allure of this luxurious lifestyle including his sexy teammate Jill (Kate Bosworth) but begins rebelling against the well-oiled machine Rosa has built. Apparently you don’t want to cross this particular math professor--nor the old-school casino security consultant (Laurence Fishburne) who has set his sights on Ben as a master card counter. It’s not illegal to do that but the casinos don’t much like it when they catch you doing it. Hey what happens in Vegas…oh you know the rest. The most well-rounded performance comes from the British Sturgess best known for singing Beatles’ songs in Across the Universe. His Ben starts out as a naive math whiz/nerd whose biggest thrill is designing the perfect science project for an M.I.T. contest but then becomes the smooth Vegas dude with the nice clothes and hot girlfriend and finally turns into the guy who eventually loses it all. It’s not hard to see just how much Ben is going to change once he gets involved in the moneymaking scheme but Sturgess handles the transition with aplomb. The stiff Bosworth isn’t nearly as effective as his love interest but she has her moments. Also good for comic relief is Aaron Yoo (Disturbia) as one of the blackjack players who oddly enough is also a kleptomaniac. The performance drawbacks in 21 come from the more veteran players. Spacey and Fishburne seem to be going through the motions utilizing techniques they’ve used many times before. Spacey can whither whoever it is with that look of his while Fishburne postures as he always does. It’s too bad they couldn’t have put in more effort. As with any movie in which the action is inherently stagnant (i.e. sitting at a blackjack table) the question is how to keep things visually stimulating. That’s where director Robert Luketic--who up to this point has only done broad comedies such as Legally Blonde and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton--comes in. Luketic does a fine job maneuvering the camera around the tables creating slo-mo close-ups of the cards and incorporating a cool soundtrack. A good montage or four usually can also work well in a situation like this and Luketic fully utilizes that technique--from the kids winning to them spending their money in gloriously obscene ways. Based on the book Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions 21 has the extra advantage of being a somewhat true story as well. But the script from Peter Steinfeld and Allan Loeb basically copies from other sources and never really distinguishes itself.
Remember the slacker Pegg hilariously played in Shaun of the Dead? Dennis Doyle is just as much of a loser. But instead of fighting zombies Dennis’ engaged in a battle of the bulge. Five years after leaving a pregnant Libby (Thandie Newton) at the altar Dennis is out of shape out of money and out of his ex-fiancée’s good graces. Libby’s now dating Whit (Hank Azaria) an American businessman who’s everything Dennis isn’t. “He’s handsome well-off friendly ” we’re told several times. Threatened by Whit’s presence in the lives of Libby and son Jake (Matthew Fenton) Dennis finally gets his butt out of bed when he decides to compete against Whit in a charity marathon. Dennis can barely sprint to the bus stop and back and he’s only got a month to get fit. But he’s convinced running the marathon will allow him to win back Libby and make him look like a hero in Jake’s eyes. And so Dennis makes like every underdog we’ve come to know and love in his bid to drop the extra pounds run the marathon and recapture Libby’s heart. Too bad this takes him--and Run Fat Boy Run--down the marathon route well traveled. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz proved that Pegg’s damn funny whenever he’s spoofing all things Hollywood with director Edgar Wright. Unfortunately he doesn’t have what it takes to be the next Hugh Grant. Pegg’s mastered the art of slothfulness but he’s ill at ease trying to express genuine emotions or generate some sparks with Newton. Maybe his discomfort stems from the padding he wears around his waist. Still there’s some tenderness to be found in the interaction between Pegg and the affable Fenton. If Schwimmer wanted to distance himself from Friends’ nerdy Ross he should have cast himself as Whit. The problem with Azaria--who looks even more ripped than he did in Along Came Polly--is that he reveals just enough of a hint of insincerity when we first meet Whit to tips us off that will become the “arsehole” Dennis thinks he is from the start. Newton sadly doesn’t have much to do other than to look through Pegg and gaze longingly at Azaria. But Irish comic Dylan Moran as Libby’s scheming cousin and Jake’s pal pretty much runs away with Run Fat Boy Run with his biting wit devil-may-care attitude and frequent flashes of flesh. So Schwimmer’s the latest sitcom star to go all Rob Reiner on us. OK he did try directing during his Friends years. Luckily Run Fat Boy Run represents a significant improvement over 1998’s consigned-to-TV Since You’re Been Gone. Schwimmer keeps things light and breezy but he’s saddled with an uneven script by his Big Nothing co-star Pegg and The State’s Michael Ian Black. Things start off quite flat and unfunny but the film gains much comic impetus when Dennis begins training in earnest. Some of Schwimmer’s directorial touches do seem somewhat gimmicky. Do we really need to see Dennis attempt to crash through an imaginary brick wall when he runs out of energy miles from the marathon finish line? Still Schwimmer does good job of involving us in Dennis’ plight even if the outcome is never in doubt. Unfortunately Pegg and Black never strive to surprise us. How refreshing it would be to discover that Whit is the right man for Libby forcing her to choose between both suitors. But everything you suspect will happen does happen right down to the film’s Rocky-esque ending. Unfortunately like Dennis himself Run Fat Boy Run never tries hard enough until it’s do-or-die time.
On the outside Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin) couldn’t be further from the mold of a “normal teenager.” He wears a suit everywhere he is precocious and he has a spring in his step that suggests oblivion to his high school surroundings. Of course Charlie isn’t really at all oblivious and at his core is very much that “normal teenager”: He wants only to be popular. After starting anew at a public school--because he got kicked out of yet another private school for distributing fake IDs--Charlie is promptly pummeled for the way he dresses by the school’s bully (Tyler Hilton). He complains to his psychiatrist whom his mother (Hope Davis) keeps on retainer. The shrink decides to put Charlie on Ritalin. Ever the entrepreneur Charlie tries to parlay his easy access to drugs into popularity and it works like gangbusters. Before long “Dr. Charlie” is listening diagnosing and prescribing drugs to the entire student faculty. He’s got the popularity the trust and the girl (Kat Dennings) the latter of which just happens to be the principal’s (Robert Downey Jr.) daughter. And that relationship--not to mention the slight legality issue of prescribing controlled substances to minors--threatens to ruin his whole operation. Yelchin (Alpha Dog) is a Hollywood rarity: He’s an ‘it’ boy because of his acting not his looks (sorry Anton). Rarer still is the fact that Yelchin’s actual age is near that of Charlie Bartlett and not since the days of Freaks and Geeks has that industry taboo been broken so successfully. It’s all a credit to the young actor who in the span of Bartlett oozes everything from vulnerability and precociousness to Ritalin-induced mania and the theatricality of a much older actor. There’s nothing he can’t do in this movie; the same goes for his acting future. And the same goes for his adversary in Bartlett Downey Jr. although that’s been abundantly clear for decades now. Downey Jr. is famous for making seemingly effortless work of a complex character which is precisely what he does with Principal Gardner--a concerned parent recovering alcoholic and dutiful high school enforcer/villain. He’s a force to be reckoned with on screen and when Yelchin’s Charlie finally squares off with him the scene is a thing of beauty. As an essential link between those two characters Dennings (40-Year-Old Virgin) is a credible charmer and refreshingly the rare non-ditzy non-clichéd high school-portrayed girl we’re used to seeing. Rounding out the cast is Davis (American Splendor) aka Laura Linney-in-waiting. Her clueless alcoholic mom is a source of laughs and ultimately sobriety--for the character and us. For the first time in his decades-long career Jon Poll trades the editing room for the director’s chair. And after seeing Bartlett it makes sense that Poll who has edited movies like Austin Powers in Goldmember and Meet the Parents/Fockers is a behind-the-scenes veteran but a rookie helmer. His debut is fresh and loose but also very sure-handed. The movie is constantly a pleasant unclassifiable surprise spurning both the raunchiness of teen comedies and the pretention of psychology dramedies. The result is something far less precious and opaque than Wes Anderson’s Rushmore--to which Bartlett bears a broad thematic resemblance--yet a sharp commentary nonetheless. To that end Gustin Nash’s debut screenplay is just as impressive as his director’s rookie effort. His writing is clearly steeped in satire namely how loose today’s doctors are with the prescription pads--especially when it comes to our children--but it’s also able to be sweet and real when necessary. It’s the most impressive screenplay debut we’ve seen in a while--gold standard Juno notwithstanding--and the directorial one isn’t too shabby itself.