Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Downey, Jr. have formed a bond over their roles as Sherlock Holmes on the big and small screen. Cumberbatch and Elementary star Miller are old friends and a recent meeting with Downey, Jr. made the Star Trek Into Darkness star realise he struggles with the same Sherlock issues as his peers when suiting up to play the sleuth in Guy Ritchie's movies.
Cumberbatch tells WENN, "I sat down on the sofa with Robert Downey, Jr. and we had our first conversation and shared notes on playing Sherlock Holmes.
"This is the most dramatised fictional character of all time so there's a lot to talk about. And Jonny (Lee Miller) is incredibly busy playing Sherlock just by happenstance and we both started on our separate journeys with it so we haven't had a proper sit down about it. We had contact but the last thing we want to do is talk shop, so I see as much of his (Sherlock) as I can and he's seen our three.
"We are fans of one another and we all support each other no matter what bulls**t the press is trying to whip up in the past. We're really good friends. I can safely say that Robert is in the same camp now; we had a wonderful chat."
British TV veteran Jean Alexander has landed a role in an upcoming episode of America's Sherlock Holmes drama Elementary. The actress, who portrayed Hilda Ogden on longrunning U.K. soap series Coronation Street from 1962 to 1987, will play an old pen pal of Jonny Lee Miller's Holmes character.
British actress Emma Thompson wants to become the first woman to play Sherlock Holmes. The Love Actually star is a big fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional sleuth, and she is convinced the part could be played by a female.
She tells Britain's Daily Telegraph, "I have always been a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. I would love to play a character like that, but that's a problem if you're a female. I'm always likely to be overlooked for not being male."
Thompson is adamant she would make a good Holmes, and hopes more women will be seen in leading roles in the future, adding, "Is the heroic role unisex? Or does it mean there is an area of life which remains unexplored, which contains stories which remain untold? I suspect that's the case and it will be very interesting as this generation gets into its stride to see what those stories turn out to be."
Actors who have recently played the detective include Robert Downey, Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, and Jonny Lee Miller, who starred opposite Lucy Liu as a female Dr. Watson in U.S. TV series Elementary.
The New York Times reported that an American judge ruled that Sherlock Holmes, along with friends and foes John Watson, Mycroft Holmes, Moriarty, and more of Arthur Conan Doyle's characters, are now in the United States public domain. The judgement means that no copyright law applies to the use of story elements in any Holme adventures published before 1923. There were a few after that, so adaptors have to take care to not run up a bill with the author's estate by using any characters or plots introduced in those later works. But forget that advice, because we are all set with Sherlock reboots at the moment.
Unless you're as culturally clueless as the detective himself, you know that the character has had a massive renaissance these last few years. Robert Downey Jr. imbued Holmes with serious swagger in the Guy Ritchie-helmed 2009 film version. Between that movie and its sequel, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat and writer Mark Gatiss launched a phenomenon to drive the internet to insane acts of meme-ing in 2010 with the slick BBC series. And CBS got into the game with its own modernized take Elementary, this time set in New York City and with a Joan, not a John. Even our collective obsession with forensic procedurals hinted at the successful resurgence of this character. There wouldn't be an NCIS without Sherlock Holmes.
And now he's free. And it's tempting. But between Jude Law and RDJ's chemistry; Benedict Cumberbatch's cheekbones; and Jonny Lee Miller's mania, there just isn't room out here for another version. At least not a good one. Any attempt to create a Holmes that doesn't directly copy any of these interpretations will just lead to a watered-down or barely recognizable imitation. And Sherlock deserves better than that.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Actress Lucy Liu is set to take on double duty on three upcoming TV episodes of her hit detective series Elementary by stepping behind the camera to direct. The star, who portrays a female version of Dr. Watson opposite Jonny Lee Miller as a modern day Sherlock Holmes, made her directorial debut in 2011 with short film Meena.
At the end of the second episode of this season of Elementary, detective Sherlock Holmes was talking to his partner/trainee, Joan Watson, about the death of a former patient of hers. He then offered to accompany her to the grave site the next time she went. There was a pause as they both looked at each other and then she said she would like that. My immediate reaction was, "Oh, they are NOT going there already, are they?"
I know that every show thinks there has to be some sexual tension to grab viewers, but forcing that would make this one jump the shark way too quickly. We want to see the intellectual sides of the two characters, where they both learn from each other. Jonny Lee Miller plays Holmes as an aloof, detached sort, caring only about the problem in front of him. He came a bit out of his shell earlier in the episode, asking Watson if she was going to pursue a particular avenue involving loaning money to the son of her dead patient. He then advanced her more than she asked for, but seemed content to let her choose her own course of action despite expressing earlier reservations.
The other thing is (avoid this if you have not seen the first season) that Holmes should be very wary of love after finding that the woman that he had been grieving all those years had turned out to be his greatest adversary, Moriarty. Having him fall for Watson and vice versa would make no sense. Then again, I'm not a scriptwriter.
The last thing that we need is for the show to suddenly devolve to sudden sideways glances while the two are investigating something or having their hands suddenly touch when reaching for a particular clue. I know, there's always a subset of people who want to 'ship' two characters on a show. There's those who waited forever to see Rick Castle and Kate Beckett get together on Castle. The phenomenon first came into play on Supernatural when Sam Winchester told his brother Dean during an episode when the characters went out into the 'real world' that people on internet boards wanted to pair those two together. "But...but...we're brothers!" Dean spluttered. Sam's only answer was a shrug.
Elementary just seems to work better with its present equation and I think that even nudging it into 'shipping' territory would be a grievous mistake, The ghost of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is probably nodding his head at this. It's elementary, really.
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The second season of Elementary, featuring Jonny Lee Miller's modern-day incarnation of Sherlock Holmes, kicks off this week. Apparently the master detective is going to be going to his homeland of England. In the first season, where Miller was able to take his character from an extremely quirky and annoying recovering drug addict to one of the more complex and entertaining characters on television. Lucy Liu made people forget that Watson was a male in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books this series is rebooting. Can the show continue its upward momentum?
As it is with many shows, there's always the fear that the writers may lose sight of what made it an exciting show to begin with. Hopefully they will keep Holmes and Watson as platonic co-workers whose sole interest is to act as mentor and mentee for each other. I won't be happy if there are suddenly sidelong glances and hints of romantic feelings for each other. At that point I might don a leather jacket, put on a pair of water skis and seek out the nearest motorboat to take me to a shark tank.
What makes the show so enjoyable now is that Holmes is completely anti-social and immersed in his work, but he's also brilliant and he is capable of pulling himself out of his fog to make some very telling observations about the human conditions. In other words, he doesn't have his head stuck up his rear end all the time. Liu's Watson can get quite exasperated with his act and has shown the tight line that someone who is both a co-worker (she was his sobriety companion to start the show and is now his protégée) and roommate/friend must travel.
The season ended with Holmes having jailed his nemesis, Moriarty. What can the show do to keep the sharp-minded detective challenged? It won't be fun if he becomes superhuman, which the show did dance a bit with some of his observations in the first season. "I see that molecule shifted..."
Aidan Quinn's Captain Gregson is another important cog in keeping the sometimes befuddling Englishman in line and it's going to be interesting to see what the show does this season to keep it up. If the show's writers decide to do any 'shipping with Holmes and Watson, then that 'ship will likely sink. Otherwise, it can sail on for quite a good amount of time.
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Sir Ian Mckellen is the latest Brit to tackle the role of Sherlock Holmes, following in the footsteps of Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. The veteran thespian will play an elderly version of the enigmatic sleuth in A Slight Trick of the Mind, in which Holmes is haunted by his unsolved cases.
McKellen will reteam with his Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon on the project, which is based on the novel by Mitch Cullin.
Production will begin next spring (14).
McKellen is the latest actor to play Holmes in recent years - Cumberbatch stars as the wily detective in U.K. TV series Sherlock, Lee Miller plays him in U.S. drama Elementary, and Robert Downey, Jr. brought the role to life on the big screen in Guy Ritchie's blockbusters in 2009 and 2011.
Welsh actor Rhys Ifans is to reteam with his Love, Honour & Obey co-star Jonny Lee Miller in hit TV Sherlock Holmes drama Elementary. The Amazing Spider-Man villain will play Mycroft Holmes - Sherlock's brother - when the show returns to U.S. TV later this year (13).
Miller plays the modern version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective, opposite sidekick Lucy Liu, in the series, which debuted last year (12).
Ifans will appear as Mycroft in the season two opener, which will be set in London, and then return as a recurring character.
He's not the only actor currently portraying Mycroft Holmes - Stephen Fry played the sleuth's older brother in Guy Ritchie's 2011 Sherlock Holmes sequel, A Game of Shadows.