If we think about all the Sherlock Holmes adaptations that have come to the big screen over the last decade or so, we’re spoilt for choice. Now, with the announcement of an adaptation of Enola Holmes, I’m looking forward to seeing something a bit different, namely a female lead in the form of Stranger Things superstar Millie Bobby Brown.
Based on the Nancy Springer book series “The Enola Holmes Mysteries”, the film looks to be aimed at a broader audience, as it features the exploits of Sherlock and Mycroft’s younger sister, Enola. What’s more, Helena Bonham Carter is lined up to play Enola’s mother, and with the directing talent of Henry Bradbeer (known for the hit show Killing Eve), I’m hoping for more of a female-centric production that takes all the best elements of the original material — gripping thriller action, cerebral mysteries — with a more modern outlook.
As well as Brown’s involvement with the project, Variety have also just announced that Henry Cavill is to star opposite as Sherlock Holmes. Reactions online have varied, and I can’t say that Superman would have been my first choice for the iconic sleuth, but perhaps he’s got enough stage presence (or at least a meme-worthy persona) to be able to pull it off. With his recent role as August Walker in Mission: Impossible — Fallout, and the unforgettable reloading arms scene, he seems to have plenty of traction as an all-round action man.
The Guy Ritchie franchise with Robert Downey Junior will always be a firm favourite, though the news that this will be receiving another sequel has been tossed around for several years, resulting in a speculative date of 2021 to complete the trilogy. Indeed, I’ve heard so much about it that I thought it might not have been a goer after all. Given that the first instalment was released a dizzying 10 years ago, and its sequel A Game of Shadows followed in 2011, a 10-year leap between the second and third sequels seems like quite a way. With this kind of a hiatus, it’s easy to see why there has been a deluge of material based on the Conan-Doyle novels in recent years.
BBC’s mega-success Sherlock were perhaps best well known for excellent performances from Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Andrew Scott. The trio certainly set a high bar: building on the high-stakes action flicks that the movies proved to be (ingredients that were more than adequate to whet the consumer appetite for period pieces), the series added a cerebral element that could only have been carried across several series, giving viewers time to digest more complex characters and convoluted storylines. It’s an uncertain future for the series, though, as the BBC have neither confirmed nor denied the possibility of a fifth season, and in the meantime fans have only been able to speculate and follow the other projects stars have been working on.
There are, of course, other adaptations like the dire Holmes & Watson which appeared last Christmas, but sometimes projects are too lifeless even to warrant a mention. I have high hopes that, with this lineup, Enola Holmes is going to surpass those adaptations that came before it and offer a fresh take on the well-known characters.