Guy Ritchie Plans To Turn Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes Into Action Hero

'It's like James Bond in 1891,' says producer Joel Silver of the English director's take on the classic detective character.

For more than 100 years, Sherlock Holmes has been the world’s foremost detective mind; a profound genius capable of unlocking even the most intricate mysteries. So how would he unravel this minor puzzle: A man known for his brain is about to showcase his brawn?

How do we know? Elementary: It’s a Guy Ritchie movie. Guy Ritchie is known for his gritty crime dramas. Guy Ritchie cast action star of the day Robert Downey Jr. in the titular role. It’s a simple deduction, really.

Well, actually, we just asked him.

“They never seem to manifest that [element] in some of the earlier productions they’ve done of ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ ” Ritchie said of what would separate his upcoming reinterpretation of the character from earlier versions. “We’re trying to bring a completely contemporary and entertaining perspective on an intellectual action hero true to his origins where he was more of an action guy originally.”

“It’s like James Bond in 1891,” producer Joel Silver added. “Nobody ever did the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ story as an action movie, and he really was an action guy. [Ours] is a big, wild action movie.”

To be fair, Holmes was a proficient (although only occasional) fighter in the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And it’s true that he was known to carry a pistol from time to time — and to use it to whip people when he thought it was called for. Ritchie’s movie will go above and beyond that, though, he said, with chases and fights punctuating the story at regular points. Actually, to understand what Ritchie wants to do with the character, the best reference isn’t earlier film versions but … “Iron Man”?

“He’s an intellectual superhero,” Ritchie said of Holmes. “I’m inspired by that.”

Any superhero, of course, needs a super villain. Ritchie confirmed to MTV News that Professor Moriarty, Holmes’ arch-nemesis in several stories, will appear in his film. The character, along with Holmes’ friend Watson, has not been cast.

Ritchie’s “Holmes” story will not be based on any one story or novel, he said, but on an “amalgamation” of Doyle’s vast library. “It’s true to the period,” he said. “And authentic from where it derives its influence.”

According to Silver, filming for the movie begins in October.


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