One could never imagine the legendary detective from Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes, to ever grow old. Always in great shape physically and at his sharpest mentally, Holmes has acquired a status of a legend since his first appearance in publication back in 1887. In recent memory, he has been portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. (in his mid-40s at time of shooting) in the Guy Ritchie directed movie series and by Benedict Cumberbatch (mid-30s) in the BBC TV series Sherlock. Ahh, but now it is time to spin the clock forward and let Sherlock Holmes age.
That is going to be the first attractive proposition of the upcoming movie Mr. Holmes. The idea of an older, much older, Sherlock Holmes. Holmes at the age of 93. Oh boy, the mind takes time to adjust to this notion! In the movie’s premise, Holmes lives in a remote Sussex farmhouse along with his housekeeper, Mrs. Munro and her young son, as he reflects on his past life while tending to his bees. His mind though takes him back to an unsolved mystery, almost 50 years back, and here he faces his greatest challenge with his mental faculties declining and time running out. Intriguing, eh!
The other most attractive point of Mr. Holmes is the British actor who is going to play it. Sir Ian McKellen. With a career spanning over five decades, McKellen has played innumerable characters that have delighted the hearts of the audience, with many knowing him from his latest exploits as Magneto and Gandalf. At the age of 75, the veteran gets a crack at playing another legendary character. And I bet, he’s still as excited about it as he would have been about any new role years ago. McKellen has tweeted the first look of the older Sherlock Holmes, and he does look classy!
McKellen goes on to say:
Over 70 actors have previously played Sherlock Holmes. Now he’s 93 years old and it’s my turn.
The actor would be joined by Laura Linney who will play the housekeeper. The movie is based on the Mitch Cullin novel, A Slight Trick of the Mind. It is being directed by Bill Condon who did not particularly cover himself in glory with his last film on the Julian Assange biopic The Fifth Estate; but his previous works include the likes of Dreamgirls and Gods and Monsters, so there is a reason to believe that Mr. Holmes could achieve the greatness that a movie on Sherlock Holmes usually demands.
The movie has a 2015 release date planned and is still in the early days of its production. With 2015 already being touted as the war of franchises, a few fresh gems like Mr. Holmes could well leave their mark. While it definitely has the potential, carving out that perfect mesmerizing movie from it won’t be so elementary, my dear Watson! Let’s keep our fingers crossed on this one.