Sunday, 20 July 2014

First look at Ian McKellen in Mr Holmes

Bill Condon's (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) next project, which will feature Ian McKellen (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug) playing the 93 year-old Sherlock Holmes dealing with the slow deterioration of his superior mental faculties, was once called A Slight Trick Of The Mind. Thanks to the actor's Twitter feed, we now know that the title has been changed to Mr Holmes, plus we also have our first look at McKellen as the venerable detective himself.

Condon has collaborated on the screenplay with Jeffrey Hatcher (The Duchess) and they've worked from Mitch Cullin's novel, itself called A Slight Trick Of The Mind. The book takes place in 1947 when Holmes is 93, long retired to his Sussex beekeeping and frustrated by his diminishing power of recollection. He believes his bees' royal jelly is part of the secret of his longevity, and his further researches into the subject have recently taken him to post-war Japan. There he encounters the son of a former British diplomat who knew Holmes and disappeared at the start of the war. Holmes doesn't remember, but feels the familiar pull of an unfinished case...

The novel weaves together three narratives: Sussex, Japan, and The (also still unsolved) Case Of The Glass Armonicist: a London tale from 1902 when Holmes was still active as a consulting detective. Laura Linney (Hyde Park On Hudson) is aboard to play Mrs. Munro, and the film itself should be out next year. There has also been a casting update, with Deadline reporting that Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine) is now aboard as Umezaki, a plant expert whom Holmes consults. 

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