Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes is Robert Downey Jr.
by Alex Billington
July 9, 2008
Robert Downey Jr. has quickly become one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood hot off the heels of Iron Man (and soon Tropic Thunder). In addition to starring in the upcoming Cowboys & Aliens as Zeke Jackson, Playboy as Hugh Hefner, and Iron Man 2, he is also in final negotiations to play Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie's adaptation. We already announced the project a month back and in between then and now, another Sherlock Holmes film starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Holmes and Will Ferrell as his sidekick Watson was also announced. I don't think the two films are going to battle to completion, as Warner Brothers is hoping to release Ritchie's film by October of 2009, while Ferrell's is probably not due until 2010. I never thought it would come to this: Downey Jr. and Baron Cohen both as Sherlock Holmes.
Ritchie's version of the British super sleuth is actually based off of an upcoming comic book that producer Lionel Wigram wrote to sell a new take on the classic character. The concept has Holmes as a more adventurous and less stuffy version than previously seen. In the original announcement, Ritchie said that the adaptation will highlight less-than-well-known traits of Holmes, including the character's drug use, specifically cocaine and morphine - a perfect fit for Downey Jr. Apparently he actually took an interest himself when producer Joel Silver showed him Ritchie's concept for Holmes. The film will shoot this fall with Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey and Dan Lin all producing.
Guy Ritchie has been under a lot of scrutiny lately from fellow bloggers because they think he isn't a talent director. I don't know why they're so against him, because I love his work and think he truly is a brilliant filmmaker, even if his two masterpieces (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch) were made back in 1998 and 2000, respectively. I've been incredibly curious to see what Ritchie would do with Holmes since first hearing about it and now my interest has definitely peaked with Downey Jr.'s involvement as well. I don't think anyone can deny that they're most likely a lot more curious now that he's involved. Let's hope the funnier Cohen and Ferrell version doesn't end up the better one. Thoughts?