Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Holmes and Watson are the Step Brothers follow-up we’ve been waiting for


With a Will Ferrell movie, you pretty much know what level of stupid, don’t-think-too-hard comedy you’re getting, and for that reason I am super excited about Holmes & Watson! The trailer has yet to be released, but if it’s anything like a Prestige Worldwide Production, it’s gonna be amazing.

I know we don’t really need another adaptation of the famous sleuths – after the success of BBC’s Sherlock and the Robert Downey Jr/Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes franchise (both of which are fantastic, and with the film franchise promising a long-awaited installment in 2020), it seems like this might just be another easy ticket in. But I’m not complaining. I am here for this.

HOLMES AND WATSON - Official Trailer (HD)

After a first look at the movie a couple of weeks ago, Columbia Pictures has just released the poster, which features Ferrell and Reilly spelling out their initials – expected, maybe, but looks like fun no matter what. Ferrell and Reilly will headline, playing off against each other as the crime-solving duo Holmes and Watson. Although they’re decked out in Victorian garb, don’t be deceived – it doesn’t look like they’ll be sticking much to the Conan Doyle source material, or playing anything like the or Cumberbatch/Freeman or Downey Jr/Law pairing we’re used to. (After Downey Jr and Cumberbatch went head-to-head in Infinity War, wouldn’t it be interesting to see a Ferrell Holmes appear too?)

The pair also collaborated on Step Brothers and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby together, and the possibility of a Step Brothers sequel has been in discussion pretty much since the genesis of the first – but has previously seemed to be just the stuff of dreams. If you can believe it, Step Brothers was out a whole decade ago, and this looks like everything we’ve been waiting for in the meantime. Sure, Reilly popped up in Anchorman, but it’s been a long while since the two comic geniuses have been pitted against each other. They seem to be well matched with the deadpan Watson and more eccentric Holmes, and I have no doubt that they’re going to take things into their own hands.

Directed by Etan Cohen (not to be confused with the Coens, he’s also worked with Ferrell on Get Hard in 2015), the movie will also star Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Laurie, Rebecca Hall, Noah Jupe and Kelly Macdonald. Sacha Baron Cohen was originally set up for the leading role for the film, but I for one am glad that Ferrell has been cast as the lead – it would have been a completely different film.

It’s not been confirmed yet what certificate the movie will earn, so I can’t promise whether this will be family-friendly or not yet, but it looks as if it’s leaning into a PG-13 rating. But what has been confirmed is that it’s a Christmas release, set for December 21 in the US, the same week as DC’s Aquaman. Now, I wonder which one will do better? (Cough know when you’re beat DC cough.)

Sian Francis Cox
Sian is Flixist’s UK Editor and has written for sites including Escapist Magazine, Destructoid, and Film Enthusiast.