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.
Drew Pearce is finding his niche: threequel screenwriter.
First, Iron Man 3. Now, Sherlock Holmes 3. ... Okay, I guess two movies isn't enough to really define a niche, but when Johnny English Reborn-Again earns Pearce his Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay (loosely based on Faulkner's Light in August), don't say we didn't warn you. But the real news here is the fact that Sherlock Holmes 3 is already in the works, before even the second film has reached theaters.
So far, Pearce is the only individual attached to the project, although we won't likely be seeing a SH3 without stars Robert Downey, Jr., and Jude Law. The real question is: will Guy Ritchie stay on as director? Ritchie directed both Sherlock Holmes and the upcoming Game of Shadows, but that doesn't guarantee the Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. director will be back for Holmes' and Watson's third adventure through Baker Street.
I suppose much of this project depends on how well we respond to Game of Shadows. But is anyone really all that willing to hate it? It's Sherlock Holmes. It's Downey and Law. It's guys dresses as girls. It's fun, it's fast, and it all works up to a nice, "Ohhh, now I get it!" moment at the end. So bring on a third!
You know, sometimes shit just happens. You take a wildly popular franchise of superheroes and movies, start listening to some really bad ideas and before you know it there are nipples on the Bat Suit, effectively killing 60 years of built up goodwill and great storylines. One bad film is all it can take to bury a great cinematic series. Six feet under. Pushing daisies. DEAD.
But then something amazing happens. A new kid comes around with fresh ideas and a reverence for what made a franchise so good in the first place. Plus, it’s been a few years since the last fiasco so maybe the audience will forgive and forget. All of a sudden you have a great film on your hands that the critics love, the audience will pay big money to see, and voila! The franchise is reborn! Healthier than it has ever been, like it was never dead in the first place! But what does a franchise savior have that previous entries lacked? Read on for the specifics.
X-Men: First Class
Cause of death: X-Men Origins: Wolverine. An unnecessary, thinly plotted and horribly scripted character prequel (Wolverine’s backstory was the focus of the first two movies, dammit!) with shitty CGI? DOA.
Savior: Matthew Vaughn and James McAvoy. Now THIS is a proper prequel. The X-Men are the most prolific comic book stories in existence. There are so many interesting tales to tell you would have to try very hard to mess it up (which totally happened). So how do you take so much potential and turn it into something tangible and real? You take the most interesting mutants, ones with true character histories, and then put them in the hands of a super talented filmmaker with success in the genre. Combine that with one hell of a cast (Jennifer Lawrence! Kevin Bacon!) and, yeah, the X-Men are back.
Also, January Jones' ample cleavage doesn’t hurt.
Cause of death: James Bond didn’t so much die (007 can’t die, remember?) as he became a clown. Sure Pierce Brosnan could spit out witty lines with the best of them, but no one took Denise Richards playing a character named Christmas Jones seriously.
Savior: Martin Campbell and Daniel Craig. When it was first announced that Daniel Craig would be playing England’s most famous spy, the outcry was enormous. He’s blond! He’s tiny! He’s not devilishly handsome enough! Then Casino Royale came out and everyone went “Oh. Never mind.” Sometimes when a franchise dies, in order to bring it back you have to invert everything that caused its demise. So Craig’s Bond doesn’t give a damn whether his martini is shaken or stirred - so what?! And forget the stylized stunts with the hero coming out as well-groomed as ever? Screw that! A sweaty, unpredictable Bond was exactly what the world wanted. Bond came back in a big way, baby.
Cause of Death: Batman and Robin. Nipple suits. Said it once before. Twice is enough.
Savior: Christopher Nolan. Holy shit, this is the textbook example of a franchise being saved. Too much has already been said on how horrible Batman and Robin is and the Oscars, billion dollar box office totals and career defining performances speak well enough for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Take away the camp, the tongue-in-cheekiness, the bloated action stars and replace it with grittiness, darkness and (most importantly) a competent filmmaker. Thanks to Nolan, Batman went from being big-screen joke to a serious character on par with one that Shakespeare would’ve come up with. That’s how you do it folks.
Cause of Death: Exhaustion. The original long-run of this classic British show ran from 1963 to 1989. That’s 26 years to fill with original programming and wildly changing tastes of consumers. Add in some executive meddling and a made-for-TV movie that failed on an epic level and it looked like the Doctor finally bit it.
Savior: Russel T. Davies and Steven Moffat. You can’t keep a good man down, but the Doctor? Well, he never really had a chance of staying down anyway. 2005 rolled around and BOOM; Doctor Who was back on the air and better than ever. Everything that brought the series down in the late 80’s was stripped away, leaving the Doctor war-torn but stripped down to his essentials (so no more Time Lords, but plenty of TARDIS and sonic screwdrivers). Throw in some great writing and the Doctor was fully regenerated. However, and this is a unique situation, Doctor Who was practically saved again without dying! It was super saved! Steven Moffat stepped into the head writer’s chair and elevated Who to a degree that few thought possible. He is still running the show and it’s honestly one of the best on television at the moment.
Image via here
Cause of Death: Exhaustion. Sherlock Holmes never really died so much as faded from popularity. Sure, he’s been featured in more movies, TV shows, books, comics and what have you than any other character, but the people just didn’t really care about him when the Millennium rolled around. So he wasn’t dead, but he was malnourished and forgotten, sitting in the corner trying to warm himself with a single match.
Savior: Guy Ritchie and Steven Moffat. Sherlock got a face-lift from two very different sources and suddenly everyone wanted a piece of the famed detective. First, Ritchie gave the uber-awesome Robert Downey Jr the keys to the flat on Baker St. and, really, that’s all you need to know. Sure, he fought in slo-mo, but he was as whip smart as ever and crimes were solved. Ah, but not everyone enjoys Victorian England. Steven Moffat (saving franchises again!) brought Holmes into the present and what do you know, Sherlock fits right in. Of course a good Sherlock series would be smart, but Moffat made his visually stunning and turned Watson into one bad-ass assistant thanks to Martin Freeman. Even after decades of hanging around solving crimes, these two showed that there was plenty of excitement left for the beekeeper.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie have finally tied the knot.
Avoiding the hundreds-strong media pack, the couple took their solemn vows and exchanged rings in front of family and friends on Friday night, the Rev. Susan Brown, who presided over the ceremony, confirmed today.
It is believed that the couple wed at 6:30 p.m. London time.
Many guests arrived at Skibo Castle in Dornoch, Scotland, after dark, covering their faces. Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Bryan Adams and Elton John were reportedly invited to join the celebration, but some reports said that Pitt and John were unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.
The marriage of the Queen of Pop and the British director has been reported on daily up to the actual nuptials, but strategic planning has ensured that Madonna would keep her big day private.
Security surrounding the castle was so tight that it was virtually impenetrable. Bodyguards protecting the wedding party brought in heat-seeking equipment to hunt down intruders on the grounds of the Highlands castle.
Two uninvited guests caught hiding in nearby 13th century Dornoch Cathedral, where the couple's 4-month-old son Rocco was christened Thursday night, have been arrested and released with court dates in their future. The unnamed men, one of whom reportedly hid in an organ, were not members of the news media, local police said.
Madonna ordered private security for her wedding day rather than turn over the arrangements to local police. The Rev. Brown, who conducted Friday's service in Skibo Castle, also presided over the baptism of Rocco on Thursday.
Former Police frontman Sting, who donned a kilt, and wife Trudie Styler were among the first guests to arrive for the wedding. They are guests of honor after introducing the couple at a dinner party two years ago. Sweeping into the driveway of the 76,000-acre estate in a navy blue Mercedes, Sting and Styler waved to the crowds of well wishers and media.
Designer Stella McCartney, the daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney, was also an early guest. She has been secretly working on a wedding dress believed to be a stunning gothic design. The bride chose a sparkling $72,000 French diamond bracelet to complement the wedding gown, according to London jeweler Susy Lauder.
Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow was reportedly maid of honor at the ceremony. Other guests said to be in the Highlands today included Chris Ciccone, Madonna's brother; sister Melanie and father Silvio; Madonna's close girlfriend, fashion designer Ingrid Casares; rock star Jon Bon Jovi; fashion scion Donatella Versace; actor Rupert Everett; and Ritchie's family.
Carlos Leon, the father of Madonna's 4-year-old daughter Lourdes, was also on the guest list.
Other reported wedding details included:
The menu for the wedding breakfast included haggis, a spicy Scottish meat dish.
A Caillie band was booked for traditional Scottish dancing and music in the great hall of the stone castle.
Instead of jetting off to warmer climates for a honeymoon, the couple plans to stay in their suite at the castle.
The cake, prepared by a French baker, was flown to Scotland to a nearby Royal Air Force base after flights into the passenger airport were diverted due to fog.
Two kids, numerous public love affairs and one giant diamond "friendship" ring later, Madonna is about to walk down the aisle again.
That's what the gossip gurus at US Weekly are reporting in this week's magazine, due out Friday. And although the Queen of Music’s publicist is denying the reports, the magazine is reporting that the wedding invitations for Madonna and filmmaker Guy Ritchie have already gone out. The grand day is scheduled for sometime in December at a Scottish castle.
Hmmm. Will Dennis Rodman be invited?
OOPS!…SHE’S DOING IT AGAIN: Teen pop queen Britney Spears is stealing the show again, this time as host of the American Music Awards, Reuters reports. Spears, who turns 19 next month, will be the show's youngest host since pop singer Debbie Gibson shared hosting duties with Kenny Rogers, Anita Baker and Rod Stewart in 1989. The show, now in its 28th year, will take place Jan. 8 at L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium. Nominations are scheduled to be announced Nov. 13.
LIMP IS STRONG: The people have spoken. Rock fans prefer a healthy diet of "Chocolate Starfish & the Hot Dog-Flavored Water" over "Greatest Hits." Limp Bizkit's third studio release held its No. 1 spot as the top-selling album for the second consecutive week on The Billboard 200, beating out Lenny Kravitz's greatest hits compilation. "Chocolate Starfish" sold nearly 393,000 copies, according to SoundScan, already adding to the one million units it sold last week. Kravitz's "Hits" debuted at No. 2 with 162,000 copies sold.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: It's never too late to get on the Web. Thirty years after the Beatles split up, the band is launching its first official Web site next month, Reuters reports. The site, thebeatles.com, is scheduled to go live Nov. 13 to coincide with the release of "1," the bands newest collection featuring all 27 of the Fab Four's No. 1 hits. The site's content will mostly concentrate on "1" at first, with more items to be added on later. The band's surviving members, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, as well as John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, all contributed to the site.
THIRD EYE BLIND LAWSUIT: This musician isn't about to turn a deaf ear to Third Eye Blind. Guitarist Kevin Cadogan is suing his former band, saying he was cheated out of 50 percent ownership of the band promised him back in 1993. However, the lawsuit says all shares went to Third Eye Blind founder Stephan Jenkins, The Associated Press reports. Cadogan, who was kicked out of the band in January, says he co-wrote 14 songs on each of the band's two platinum-selling albums.
BUFFET’S BUFFET: From the concert stage to the greasy grill, Jimmy Buffet is moving into the burger business. The singer is working on opening an island-themed eatery based on one of his famous songs, "Cheeseburger in Paradise," AP reports. Buffet already has one restaurant chain with the name of another hit song, "Margaritaville." He's also opening two Krispy Kreme doughnut shops in Palm Beach (Fla.) County.