Things have been fairly quiet ever since the announcement was made last summer that the comedy duo of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly would be reuniting for a third time. Best known for their work together on Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, the latest project for the two comedians is a take on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle tale of Sherlock Holmes, called Holmes and Watson.
Aside from a brief casting update to inform fans that Rob Brydon (The Huntsman: Winter’s War) would be playing Inspector Lestrade; Kelly MacDonald (Black Mirror) Holmes’ housekeeper Mrs. Hudson and Rebecca Hall (The BFG) London’s first female medical practitioner Dr Grace Hart, there hasn’t been a whole lot of information floating around. At present we do know that the comedy is currently filming in London and that it’s written and directed by Etan Cohen (Get Hard). A 2018 release is expected, though the exact date has yet to be confirmed.
Based on cast alone, the film seems to be shaping up quite nicely and the latest casting news from THR indicates that two more wonderful actors are getting set to join upcoming comedy. Oscar-nominee Ralph Fiennes, who has dazzled audiences with performances in everything from the Harry Potter and James Bond franchises to recent voice-work in the animated hit Kubo and the Two Strings and two-time Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie (House) will take on undisclosed roles in Holmes and Watson.
At present all that is known about the potential for Fiennes and Laurie’s roles is that they will play well-established characters from the Sherlock Holmes canon, with THR even going as far as to refer to these mystery characters as “beloved”. Given Fiennes' history of playing some of the most superb onscreen villains in cinema, it’s quite possible that he could be taking on the role of arch Sherlock Holmes nemesis Professor James Moriarty. To date there’s been no word on who or what the villain in Holmes and Watson will be and of course, a story as iconic as that of Sherlock Holmes will most definitely require a substantial villain. As far as the role of Hugh Laurie goes, it’s also entirely possible that he’ll be playing Moriarity’s henchman Sebastian Moran.
Despite the low profile of its production and the relative uncertainty of exactly what kind of Sherlock Holmes tale the film will tell, fans of Ferrell and Reilly might really have something to look forward to with Holmes and Watson. There’s some serious comedic talent lined up so far and with the likes of Hugh Laurie and particularly Ralph Fiennes, the potential for director Etan Cohen to create not just a quality comedy but also an all around solid film is strong. Of course, Cohen’s past comedic work has achieved mixed success, so it’s always best not to look too far ahead just yet.
There’s a lot of excitement and anticipation among fans of Ferrell and Reilly for this third outing together – and rightly so. The two have proven themselves a hilarious comedic team and in taking on something as beloved as Sherlock Holmes, there’s numerous avenues for potential laughs. It’s been too long since we last saw the pair together on screen and this time around they’ll hopefully have a substantial story behind them to keep things intriguing as well as funny.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on the progress of Holmes and Watson.