This news is so hot off the press that our fingers are burning. As these very words are being typed, a London press conference for Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes is confirming that Jude Law has been cast as Dr Watson, Kelly Reilly as his love interest Mary, and Mark Strong as villain Blackwood.
Rather more handsome and a hell of a lot younger than the middle-aged, moustachioed Watson of legend, Law’s casting alongside Robert Downey Jr (as Sherlock Holmes) confirms that Ritchie’s version will be a sexier, edgier and more action-tastic take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest creation. We're also told that this Watson will be no bumbler, Downey Jr. emphasising his background as a military surgeon and war veteran.
Also added to the cast roster is Kelly Reilly who will be playing Mary, Watson’s love interest (the self-same Miss Mary Morstan who became the good doctor’s wife after the mysterious events of The Sign Of Four), who causes tension between Watson - who wants to marry her - and Holmes - who resents her competition for Watson's affections.
Factor in the recent revelation that Rachel McAdams will be playing Irene Adler (also referred to in the original stories as The Woman, a wily female criminal who evaded the great detective in A Scandal In Bohemia) and Mark Strong as Blackwood (“a mysterious new adversary”) and it appears that Ritchie is creating something of a greatest hits mash-up of Doyle’s best stories.
Also at the press conference, we asked whether there is yet another bad guy yet to be announced, in addition to Blackwood and Adler (perhaps a certain Professor Moriarty?). The cast remained tight-lipped (although Downey Jr grinned broadly) and producer Lionel Wigram simply declined to answer at this point. Which we're taking as a strong suggestion that there may be another nemesis to come.
But then secrecy was the word of the day. Ritchie would not confirm whether Holmes will don the traditional deerstalker, or even if he'll wear tweed, and stayed quiet on plot details. He did tell us that the production will be shooting in the Victorian streets of London and Liverpool, and that scenes will be shot in Freemason's Hall (where the press conference took place) and at St. Paul's Cathedral.
Producer Joel Silver also confirmed that the film will be a PG-13 (so bye-bye, scenes of Holmes taking cocaine). Everyone involved referenced the fact that this will be an action-packed Holmes, but emphasised that all his abilities, including bare-knuckle boxing and martial arts expertise, are sourced from Conan Doyle's books.