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