Downey Confirmed As Sherlock Holmes

In the Guy Ritchie version

Downey Confirmed As Sherlock Holmes

by Chris Hewitt |
Published on

Wow. If you had told Empire at the beginning of the year that, come June, we would have not one but two movie versions of Sherlock Holmes given the old green light, we’d have laughed in your face.

If you’d gone on to say that the rival Holmes would be played by Sacha Baron Cohen and Robert Downey, Jr., we would have slapped you for such an outlandish suggestion.

But it’s real. It’s happening. And we couldn’t be more excited.

Just a week after Cohen was confirmed as the great detective in Judd Apatow and Will Ferrell’s comedic take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation, comes the news that Downey Jr. – possibly the hottest actor in the world right now – has signed to play the title role in Guy Ritchie’s adventure.

Downey had been linked with the role a month ago, but negotiations take time in Hollywood – indeed, the actor is still only in final negotiations, but unless something cataclysmic happens, it looks likely that he’s set to take on his second franchise (Iron Man being the first, naturally).

Downey was brought to the role by his wife, Susan Downey, who is one of four producers on the movie, along with Joel Silver, Dan Lin and Lionel Wigram, on whose forthcoming comic book the movie is actually based.

Mrs. Downey is a producer on Guy Ritchie’s latest, Rocknrolla, along with Silver, and when Downey Jr. popped into Silver’s office to see the missus, he was shown a copy of Ritchie’s Holmes script. And, a short time later, here we are.

The idea is to shoot in the autumn, with a release in October 2009. Which will probably get it into cinemas before the Apatow/Ferrell/Cohen film, which doesn’t yet have a director. And we can’t wait – ok, so neither Holmes will please the purists (and there’s a great, traditional movie to be made out of classic Holmes, in our opinion), but Downey can pretty much do anything, and if he attacks Holmes with the verve and swagger that he brought to Tony Stark, then this could be one for the ages.

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