Audiences have been enraptured by the sleuthing skills of Sherlock Holmes on TV and in film for decades — which was preceded by numerous stage plays involving the hero detective, and of course the original book series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that launched it all. While it might seem like the recent high-profile performances by Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch have provided us with a definitive big screen and small screen Sherlock fix for the modern era, there’s a new Holmes and Watson flick on the horizon that may very well put the rest to shame. That would be the Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly version, Holmes & Watson, is the one we never realized we needed until we heard about it.
Of course, Holmes & Watson can’t just go digging up clues without an ensemble of supporting characters to thwart or assist them at every turn. And it was recently learned who’ll be taking on the roles of Inspector Lestrade from Scotland Yard, as well as Holmes’ housekeeper, and one other key figure.
As reported by Deadline, Rob Brydon will be stepping into the shoes of Lestrade, a character typically portrayed as being impossibly reliant upon Sherlock’s almost supernatural mental prowess. Brydon, a steadily working actor from the other side of the pond, has made non-stop appearances in a variety of shows and films since the 1990’s, highlighted by his work in popular UK shows like Gavin & Stacey, Human Remains, Marion & Geoff, and more. Meanwhile, Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire) will find herself at the epicenter of the hijinks in the role of Holmes’ housekeeper, and Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3) has been cast as Dr. Grace Hart, described as “the first female doctor to practice in London.” Etan Cohen (Men in Black 3) will be taking on writing and directing duties.
All three actors are formidable additions to the ensemble, but the casting of Macdonald and Hall proves especially intriguing. While Brydon’s comedic talents are well established, we’re typically used to seeing both Macdonald and Hall in heavier dramas and/or the occasional big-screen superhero showpiece. A big-budget comedy is a distinct departure from the norm for Hall, and while Macdonald has lighter roles in Harry Potter and Nanny McPhee under her belt, along with lending her voice to Merida in Disney’s Brave, a Ferrell led chuckle-fest is still unusual territory for this talented Scottish actress. Of course, pulling off a nuanced and solid comedic performance is never half as easy as it looks, which is precisely why it can only be a good thing to have landed actors with such formidable resumes.
It’ll be tremendous fun to watch all three provide a counterbalance to the inevitably manic energy of the Ferrell-Reilly comedy dream team. Of course it’ll take a seasoned professional to hold their ground in the process, but if anyone’s up to the task, it’s these three. With any luck, they’ll prove just as memorable as the quotable one-liners and over-the-top sight gags that inevitably result from a Ferrell-Reilly pairing. Plus who isn’t ready to watch Ferrell rock a deerstalker cap? (Yes, that’s actually what it’s called.)
While Ferrell has paired with everyone from Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Hart in more recent outtings, and Reilly continues to prove a multi-talented character actor in both comedies and dramas, there’s an inarguably rare chemistry that erupts whenever these two share the screen. Here’s to their latest project igniting some of that old magic we all know and love.
Screen Rant will have more details for you on Holmes & Watson as they are made available.