BBC’s modern take on Sherlock Holmes – simply titled Sherlock – has so far been a really smart, really successful modern adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective tales. This time two years ago, Benedict Cumberbatch was just a really lanky English guy. Now he’s the main villain in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek 2. Coincidence? Doubtful.
In fact, Sherlock was so successful that CBS began developing a modern Sherlock Holmes to call its own, Elementary. Two weeks ago, Johnny Lee Miller (Eli Stone) was cast as Sherlock himself. Today, not only do we have plot details, but we also have our John (or should we say Joan?) Watson — and her name is Lucy Liu.
The news initially came from TV Line, which simply announced that Liu (currently on Southland) would be taking on the role of the female Watson. Later, more details emerged from Deadline, TV Line‘s sister site. Apparently, Elementary will see Johnny Lee Miller’s Holmes – breathe easy, everybody, he’s still English – as a former consultant to Scotland Yard whose drug addiction brings him to a rehabilitation center in NYC. Post-rehab, Holmes moves in with a “sober companion” in Brooklyn, Joan Watson, a “former surgeon who lost her medical license after a patient died while consulting with the NYPD.”
There’s nothing inherently wrong with casting Watson as a woman. While previous attempts have yielded lackluster results, it certainly has the potential to be an extremely interesting development. However, the problem could lie with Lucy Liu herself. She carries a lot of baggage as, well, Lucy Liu – from Ally McBeal to Charlie’s Angels to Kill Bill and so on. When viewers sit down to watch Elementary for the very first time, will they see the female version of John Watson, or the Charlie’s Angel who hated Bill Murray?
Elementary, of course, refers to the most famous line ever attributed to Sherlock Holmes: “Elementary, my dear Watson!” A line that was never written by Arthur Conan Doyle, but was, in fact, popularized sometime later – either in a nineteenth century play or in the 1929 film The Return of Sherlock Holmes (it’s actually unclear to this day).
Rob Doherty (Medium) wrote the script for Elementary‘s pilot and Michael Cuesta (Homeland) directed it.
What say you, Screen Ranters? Is this semi-Americanized Sherlock Holmes reboot something you can get behind, or is Lucy Liu as
John Jane Watson too ridiculous for anybody to get behind? Let us know in the comments.
Stay tuned as more Elementary news becomes available.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.
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