New Sherlock Holmes Photos, Villain Revealed

Published 6 years ago by , Updated September 17th, 2012 at 7:58 am,

Guy Ritchie’s  starring Robert Downey, Jr. as the world’s greatest detective and Jude Law as Dr. Watson, doesn’t open for a few more months, but we’ve got some great new photos and some new insight into the film for you today.

It’s well known now that Ritchie wants not only a brilliant detective in his Holmes but also a fighter.  And it looks like an image of scruffy Holmes with a whip and sword are what sold the studio on launching a new film version.  (Yes, it does sound a bit like Indiana Jones.)

The new filmed version of the legendary Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective series seems to be in the vein of recent reboots like Batman Begins and .  And these pictures are getting me a little more excited about this film.

The villain is Lord Blackwood (played by Mark Strong), an industrialist who dabbles in the dark arts and occult (inspired by real-life weirdo Aleister Crowley).  Here’s the first photo with a slick-looking RDJ as Holmes:

Plus, the friendship between Holmes and Watson looks to be in the vein of a buddy movie, like Lethal Weapon or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  I think that’s a pretty good idea!  But before I get too excited, there are a couple of things that may or may not be a good thing: Holmes won’t be wearing the hat (I can live with that since they’re going for a more dressed-down Holmes) and he won’t be saying his famous catchphrase, “Elementary, my dear Watson.”  Okay I may have issue with that one but perhaps it’s better suited for the elegant Holmes than the rugged one.

So what do you think?  A rough-and-tumble Sherlock Holmes that uses his body as well as his brilliant mind?  Bring it on, I say!  The film opens Christmas 2009.

Source: USA Today via /Film

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  1. I think that Robert suits this role perfectly; and I am a big fanatic of Sherlock Holmes.

  2. I’m hoping they keep Doyle’s intrigue and mystery true to his books and don’t Scooby Doo it. A good, smart, interesting mystery will do well in theaters. The Hounds of Baskerville would make a great movie.

  3. Jude Law as Dr. Watson is (close to) ridiculous. Too good looking, too young.

  4. Uggg, I love Downey but…………………

    Jeremy Brett is rolling in his grave

  5. I think both the actors add a lot of pedigree to it, but let’s hope it doesn’t end up being TOO much of a romp.


  6. Well, since not anywhere in any of the books did Sherlock say “Elementary, my dear Watson” then I’m okay that that inaccurate little phrase has been left out. I don’t think it was even spoken in any of the films, from what I’ve read, but a commercial, for heaven’s sake. Also, Watson as an old bumbling man is not accurate to the book, either, but someone’s take on the stories. I see nothing really off about any of these. Heck, even the deerstalker is an inaccuracy, something taken from an artist’s rendering, and not exactly a staple of the story. I’m glad this isn’t a caricature, like Superman wearing his red cape or Batman with his….mask or whatever. I think it brings Sherlock/Watson to life in a more realistic way, and not just a redoing of somebody else’s long ago version of them. I think all of that has become blurred and caused people to be too fixated.

  7. Looks like an attempt at making the property more commercial by turning it into something it isnt. Downey is a terrible choice for Holmes – too short, too stocky, too ugly. Still it could be worse,they could have cast Anthony Hopkins as a black man – again.

  8. I agree with Lord Garth. I like Downey and Law, but not as Holmes and Watson. The villain behind the bars (Mark Strong) looks like he would make a better Holmes. Holmes has to LOOK like Holmes. And sheryl is right, Watson is not a bumbler: staff surgeon at St. Bartholomew’s hospital, rugby player, trained military surgeon, wounded in a battle in Afghanistan. He’s no wimp! Does Jude Law look like he could even stand up to a bad manicure? I predict that the curse of Madonna will continue to affect Ritchie. Look at how long it took Sean Penn’s career to recover.

  9. I have read and I own all of Conan Doyles’ books. Sherlock Holmes didn’t even wear a Deerstalker hat, he never said “Elementary my dear Watson”, and he rarely if ever wore an Iverness cape. All that was made up. Basil Rathbone took alot of liberties with the characters as well, so did Jeremy Brett. I don’t see why either should be rolling over in their graves. Neither actor followed the characters in Conan Doyles’ books. Alot of other traits were changed by others also. Sherlock Holmes wasn’t , infact a primpy well dressed victorian man, if he wasn’t working a case he became depressed and let his appearance go until another case arose. He was, however always a English gentleman to others. He wasn’t snooty or stuck-up like Basil Rathbone always depicted him. That is all made up conjecture and stereotyping. Watson also didn’t like Holmes’ violin playing all the time-he sometimes complained about it. Holmes also smoked Opium and shot up Morphine(I don’t think that’s been in any movie either). Holmes did know Baritsu, he was a swordsman, and he was a stickfighter.

    Alot, of the reason Robert Downey Jr. is playing Holmes is because he does hold a black sash in Wing Chun Kung-Fu, he is a swordsman, and he is trained in stick/cane fighting. (Wing Chun is a type of street fighting. It was what Bruce Lee was trained in). Robert also does most of his own stunts. He can also speak with a perfect British accent-he was trained by a voice coach for Chaplin. He can also play the violin-he also learned that while playing Chaplin. Robert Downey was the perfect choice to play Sherlock Holmes. He’s already trained in everything.( Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett and every other Holmes player would have had to have been trained in most of these areas). Robert Downey Jr. is also a gifted actor talent wise. There are more pluses than negatives. People just need to give the movie a chance. I believe the movie will be fantastic. I can see Robert Downey Jr. doing a fantastic job and I am really excited about this. I can’t wait until Christmas!

    Oh, and Hi Sheryl!!!! I am so excited to see someone actually reads the books like I do and enjoys them! It’s fantastic to know that there is another Sherlock Holmes fan out there who knows the stories!!! Thank you for that- take care.

  10. I’m not crazy about yet another Holmes film, but I have learned to not underestimate RDJ lately. If he thought it was something to take on, I have a feeling it’s going to be quality. I’m still holding out judgement on this, but I am starting to warm up to the idea.

    As for it not conforming to the old Holmes’ stereotype, I say it’s about time. The Holmes of the yesteryear can’t work today. I like the new direction it’s going, and I am glad that Moriarty is not the first villain.

  11. Looks like Rene and Sheryl are our local Holmes experts, and they seem to think this movie will work. Since I like Downey and Law, and our experts seem to like this idea, I’m in. Rene or Sheryl, did Holmes, in the book, talk like this:

    “Then may I say your perturbation becomes you, Inspector Lestrade, whilst simultaneously affording me yet another chance to serve Queen and country”

    This was from the Star Trek: TNG episode “Elementary, Dear Data”. Alas, I had to look up the quote (head bows). The stain on non-Trekness has imbued my geek card. :-)

  12. Would you cast RDJ as Gandalf or make Gandalf a young shirtless body-builder? Would you cast RDJ as Conan the Barbarian? For some characters, you cannot play with their look because the look is iconic.

  13. @Shannon

    Maybe Ralph Finnes would have made a better Holmes based on looks alone?

  14. Great idea, Walwus! Or how about Jason Isaacs?

    • I did like the movie with Robert Downey jr. en Jude Law, but they can never be in the footsteps of Jeremy Brett and David Burke and Edward Hardwicke.
      I would like to see Richard E Grant as Sherlock Holmes, he’s got the looks and a beautiful voice to listen to.
      And Jim Broadbent would do well as Watson.

      Judith Claassen, Holland

  15. Hi John! Yes as a matter of fact sometimes he did. Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Lestrade never got along at all. Whenever Holmes spoke to Lestrade he also insinuated that he also had to save Lestrades’ backside as well as the Queens and Englands. Holmes would always say,” he would make the time to get on the case and solve it as quickly as possible and Lestrade would say, “great some of us consider this a job and not just a hobby Holmes”! I hope they show this rivalry in the film also. That would be great! Sherlock Holmes always liked to speak with a type of intelligence. I am also a geek John just on alot of different things – nothing wrong with that! Take care John, see ya at the theater in December!!!!!

  16. The other posters are not the only Holmes fans in this board. While Holmes never said, “Elementary my dear Watson,” he did use the term “elementary” several times, when asked about how he came to certain conclusions. Also, he did wear the hat, but was never DESCRIBED as wearing it. The black and white, original sketchings that accompanied the original Strand articles, DID depict Holmes wearing such a hat, and more than once. If people are going to play at being “experts” on such matters, then they need to do their homework first. Rathbone did take many liberties with his take on Holmes, as it differed somewhat from the stories, but even the movies themselves often didn’t quite follow the original, unedited Holmes stories. Most of the stories, aside from the novellette “Hound of the Baskervilles,” were too short to be easily made into full length movies.

    As far as Downey being more “physical” than the original holmes, original Holmes got into quite a number of physical scuffles in the stories, and won them all except two, and he even admitted he would have lost the one if not for others coming to his aid. In the other, he was ambushed by two men at the same time, unawares. He was described as being an accomplished boxer, and knew some martial arts as well.

  17. The problem isn’t with Holmes being seen as more physical – as i recall he did know both boxing and, i think, ju-jitsu, the problem is that the impression we are being given is that there will be too much focus on the physical element, despite said element having taken a distant backseat to Holmes’ intellectual prowess in the books. And yes, Fiennes would have been far better, though nobody can touch Jeremy Brett – too bad he died young.

  18. It looks to be grittier than the usual Sherlock Holmes adaptation, but that is in keeping with the real nature of industrial coal-fired Victorian London in a period of great social and industrial change and turmoil. I trust Downey to do an incredible job and am looking forward to this. I am a Sherlockian, published in the Baker Street Journal, and am not freaking out because it’s not Rathbone or Brett’s Holmes.

  19. Still, I would like to see Richard Grant cast in the role sometime…

  20. I think Downey can pull off the role of Holmes….perhaps in the same vain as Depp in ‘From Hell.’
    As far as Law being too young a Watson…I believe there is a proportional age agreement between the Downey/Law duo as any of the other Holmes/Watson duo we have seen in the last half century. As an interesting sidenote, a young Jude Law played a character (Joe Barnes) in a 1991 Jeremy Brett, ‘The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes’ episode (‘Shoscombe Old Place’.)