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Bad Ass Old Man Ian McKellan Cast as Sherlock Holmes

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | September 5, 2013 | Comments ()


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Oh, you’re tired of new iterations of Sherlock Holmes? A movie franchise, a British show, and a CBS procedural are too much for you? I think we can make room for at least one more, starring Gandalf the Fabulous! A Slight Trick of the Mind, based on the novel of the same name, will be directed by Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters), and this one centered on a retired Sherlock haunted by an old case.

From Screen Daily (via Vulture):

Set in 1947, the film follows a long-retired Sherlock Holmes, who lives in a sleepy Sussex village with his housekeeper and her amateur-sleuthing son.

But rather than enjoying a peaceful retirement, the famous Baker Street detective is haunted by an unsolved case from 50 years ago. He remembers only fragments: a confrontation with an angry husband, a secret bond with his beautiful but unstable wife.

Sir Arthur Conan’s Holmes went into retirement in 1904 (and took up beekeeping), and there is no official account of the characeter’s death, and while I don’t know if that’s what takes place in A Slight Trick of the Mind, wouldn’t McKellan be the perfect actor to take one of literature’s most enduring characters to the grave?


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • YES.

  • Green Lantern

    I'm down. Totally.

  • bastich

    Any chance we could get Sir Patrick Stewart as Watson?

  • perfection. and maybe add, dare I suggest, Benedict Cumberbatch as the 'amateur-sleuthing son'?

  • rio

    Oh my god, I read this script last year and i wept. It's an amazing story and I was hoping it will get produced. People don't worry about him going all Marple on you, he won't. I'm so fucking exited.

  • Mrs. Julien

    How is it that you got to read the script?

  • DataAngel

    Sherlock Holmes.
    Ian McKellan.
    I see no reason to complain. I would like to purchase my tickets for this NOW, in fact. But to be fair, I'm a fan of Holmes in pretty much EVERY incarnation. Even the silly ones. Even the one where he's a mouse. Even the questionable "Young Sherlock Holmes".

  • Helo

    Nothing about this idea makes me foresee an unpleasant viewing experience.

  • Artemis

    I will be watching the hell out of this.

  • koko temur

    That movie was sort of already done in the last ever Mitchel & Webb sketch. And it was brutal to watch. i dont know if i want to watch a half senile holmes trying to recreate crime from those fragments of memories. On the other hand - i can totally buy him as older version of the Batch. I hope Batch will grow up to be that kind of awesome old dude.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Is Ian McKellan working through a checklist of famous/infamous characters as some kind of bucket list?

  • I could see a mini-canon built around Sir Ian escorting a host of beloved characters to their ends. Could we begin arranging for him to take James Bond to the grave? George Smiley? Peter Pan? Christopher Robin?

  • bastich

    I heard that he's next going to play an aging Pippi Longstocking who
    comes out of retirement to use her super-strength to avenge the death of
    her monkey, Mr.Nilsson.

    The working title is "Pippi: Requiem".

  • Sara_Tonin00

    that had better be a musical or I'm out.

  • BWeaves

    I find it hard to believe that Mr. Holmes would go all Miss Marple on us. It seems very out of character. A man who has lived his entire life in London would hardly decide to move to a sleepy little village for retirement. He would stay in London, in his apartment with his housekeeper (probably a new one as I'm sure Mrs. whatsherface would be dead by 1947). He would have stayed through the war and helped the government with spies, I think. Do we really think Mr. Holmes would have skedadled to the country during WWII and sat it all out? I don't think so.

    Then again, GANDALF! I'm in.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Ah, then this is the movie (episode?) for you.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt00...

    Though it's not an older Holmes - just Holmes transplanted to a different time period.

  • BWeaves

    Oh, I've seen all the Basil Rathbone ones. The first two were done in Victorian period style by one studio, and then they dropped them. A different studio picked them up and transplanted Holmes to the 1940's because it was cheaper to do the films in "current times." They were the "Sherlock" of their time. There were about 12 of those.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I had an ex with two copies of that dvd. I have one. It was my "guaranteed to put me to sleep" movie. I don't think I ever made it more than 20 minutes in.

  • koko temur

    Her name was mrs Hadson, btw.
    and i think considering the amount of cocaine he did in the novels, she would outlive him easy. Hell, his bees probably outlived him.

  • BWeaves

    Ack! I remember now. Mrs. Hudson.

  • Jiffylush

    You better not be using Miss Marple as an example of something bad. I will say that I only like the one in the attached pictures, the other versions I have seen were unwatchable.

    I am not attached to the Holmes canon but if I was I would be a lot more upset about Holmes fighting in bullet time than a story that takes place later in his life where he acts like he does in the books.

  • BWeaves

    I'm not using Miss Marple as a bad example of Miss Marple. I'm using Miss Marple as a bad example of Sherlock Holmes. They have two completely different styles. Holmes is a city boy who reads all the papers and has a slew of "irregulars" combing the streets for information. He also gets paid for his efforts. Miss Marple is a quiet country lady who butts into other people's problems when she has the opportunity. I just don't think Holmes would be sitting in a quiet little village in his retirement. It's just not HIM.

  • meadowdancer

    I remember reading His Last Bow and that is pretty much what I assumed he and Watson did as well.

  • NateMan

    Well that actually sounds like it could be an intriguing idea. Color me mildly interested.

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