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Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell Taking on Comedic Sherlock Holmes

by
July 1, 2008

Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell

Move over Guy Ritchie, Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell are stepping up to take on the detective Sherlock Holmes! Cohen and Ferrell have officially been cast in Sony's currently untitled comedy as Holmes and Watson, respectively. While there is no director attached yet, Judd Apatow is producing and Etan Cohen (Idiocracy, Tropic Thunder) is writing the script. The comedy is inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tales, but as for where the comedy will come from, we can only expect it will be an over-the-top quirky comedy similar to Get Smart. As hilarious as Cohen and Ferrell are individually, will they be able to actually pull off a comedy better than Talladega Nights?

Columbia Pictures' president Matt Tolmach said of the project: "Just the idea of Sacha and Will as Sherlock Holmes and Watson makes us laugh. [They] are two of the funniest and most talented guys on the planet, and having them take on these two iconic characters is frankly hilarious." Certainly true, but if there isn't a good script and a good director, it won't turn out great. Just look at Talladega Nights - that was one of Ferrell's worst, at least I thought, and it was the first and only film Cohen and Ferrell showed up in together. I think Sherlock Holmes is a character that does have the potential for some hilarious comedy, so let's hope Etan Cohen can write a great script. His work on Idiocracy wasn't impressive, but I'm hoping Tropic Thunder will be better.

The character of Sherlock Holmes first appeared in 1887 and is the creation of Scottish-born author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A brilliant London-based detective, Holmes is famous for his intellectual prowess, and is renowned for his skillful use of "deductive reasoning" while using abductive reasoning and astute observation to solve difficult cases. But all of that shouldn't matter, because I'm sure they'll throw out that intellectualism in exchange for some British/Scottish humor. Cohen himself is English and is definitely the perfect actor to take on the role of Sherlock Holmes. As for Ferrell? Let's hope that he pulls himself out of his Semi-Pro rut for the role of Watson. Does this sound like a comedy you're already looking forward to or already on its way to failure?

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  • David
    I Think this film will be awful, Ferrel is just milking his name now, as seen in Semi-Pro and Blades of Glory, both of which sucked harder than Talladega Nights and Cohen is wretched. Borat was not even funny! Sure it was good for a chuckle, but if you have even seen it more than once its painful to hear all the racist, sexist, homophobic, Jew jokes. And all of his other attempts at acting have come across pitiful: Madagascar, Sweeney Todd, and Talladega Nights; his only luck was with Ali G. I smell a failure, big time.
  • Avaris
    Agree, Im getting tired of them. They initially used to be funny. But, they just do the same old tricks and act stupid in the same old movies just in a different setting.
  • Viper
    Somebody take their production money and give it to someone who can create a Sherlock Holmes franchise of movies that act almost like James Bond movies, but no where near as much action. Where James Bond gives you guns-blazing action and good looking people, Sherlock Holmes would give you mind-bending mystery and psychological thriller. Think Law and Order merged with The Prestige. Now that would be an interesting movie franchise with tons of spoilers grasping to the frail, thin strands of movie etiquette.
  • Jont
    i think this could be good. have said that id beat a dead horse, and i do it all the time
  • Peloquin
    I'm sick of people hating on Ferrel. Yes his moronic comedies are poisoning Hollywood, but haven't we seen this happen many times before. His potential as a dramatic actor is there as we've seen in Stranger than Fiction. We've seen other comedic legends take on a more in depth role, but it takes them time. If I was a rising comedic actor I'd keep doing the same comedic performances (that sell) in order to provide me with the money needed to move on to more passionate and defined roles. Look at Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler. They eventually got sick of the same mundane comedic performances and wanted to show their fans they could create emotions other than just laughter. Eternal Sunshine and Reign Over Me continue to be among some of my favorite films and that's because of Carrey's and Sandler's amazing performances. Comedians bring a fresh voice to dramas and can really bring out the dark humor in life, but instead you end up with a person on screen being real for once rather than just a monkey making people laugh doing the same jokes. This is what makes you memorable as a comedic actor and I believe Ferrel has the same potential as Carrey or Sandler and he just needs a role to bring that out in him. Perhaps as Watson he'll find his niche as a dramatic actor (with some inevitable sarcastic remarks included of course)...or perhaps my theory about comedic actors is wrong and they don't all grow into great dramatic performers...look at Eddie Murphy or Mike Myers.
  • harrison
    i love ferrel but other than talladega nights which i loved, hes not a leading man, hes the hilarious other guy like in old school, but this certainly has potential so lets see where they go with it its elementary my dear watson
  • Attila Orszag - HUNGARY
    YES - please do it this film. So like these actors and filmmakers - JUST FUN OF MOVIE .... NEED in the lake of 'crazy' movie in the future - with more OIL into the big fireplace !
  • Shane
    I wouldn't mind a serious adaption of Sherlock Holmes. I'd really like to see someone like Gary Oldman or Jeremy Irons play him. So tired of Apatow/Ferrell/Sandler comedies............
  • As much as I like their pairing. NO! Please make this serious!
  • Elsie Cubitt
    I am a little puzzled by "abductive reasoning". Is this Holmes thinking with his abs? Perish the thought! Only in America!
  • Jessica
    While I am a Will Ferrell fan I love the written works of Sir Author Conan Doyle far too much to see them butchered by his type of humor, let alone Sacha Baron Cohen's! I am a very bit fan of Sherlock and Watson, and I am extremely hesitant to see anyone attempt their characters in the flesh. But a comedy of this great duo? No thank you!
  • ryguy
    david your a dick...borat is amazing and these guys as sherlock and watson will be great...im a huge conan doyle fan and i believe that there is definent room for laughter and comedy in his works...and viper fuck off... law and order meets the prestige thats what you see in a good holmes movie...douche
  • cw
    I watched THE RESIDENT PATIENT RECENTLY, David Burke played Dr. Watson and he was a dead ringer fro Will Ferrell. So I started thinking whether Will Ferrell is related and whether he could play Dr. Watson. YES-must be the answer to both. I did a google search and discovered there are others who agree, okay maybe just a couple, maybe just one other person.

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