September 9, 2013

Ian McKellen to play Sherlock Holmes


Sir Ian McKellen, the next Sherlock Holmes

Step aside, Bandersnatch Cummerbund. Sir Ian McKellen has been tapped to play detective Sherlock Holmes in an upcoming film directed by Bill Condon. Condon won an Oscar for his screenplay of the film Gods and Monsters, in which McKellen also starred.

Xan Brooks writes for the Guardian that McKellen will play an aging Holmes in A Slight Trick of the Mind, not adapted from Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories, but from Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind. Jeffrey Hatcher will adapt the book into a screenplay, and will be co-produced by AI Film and BBC Films.

Set in 1947, A Slight Trick of the Mind presents an elderly Sherlock Holmes, unable to walk without a cane. The famous detective is long retired at this point, but still haunted by a case from fifty years ago that he hasn’t been able to solve. According to a press release from the filmmakers, he lives in a country village with his housekeeper and amateur sleuth son, though he’s now without his faithful companion John Watson. The release continues, “He remembers only fragments [of the case]: a confrontation with an angry husband, a secret bond with his beautiful but unstable wife. With his legendary mental powers on the wane…Holmes is faced with the toughest case of his life—a case that might finally reveal to him the mysteries of the human heart.”

The “mysteries of the human heart” business is awfully silly, but it will certainly be interesting to see McKellen bring his acting chops to the role. He does, after all, know what he’s doing:


Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.