Monday, June 7, 2010

Steven Moffat to Bring Sherlock Holmes into the 21st Century

 The Moff himself on the set of Time Crash

Steven moffat is a master of the Sci-Fi and Fantastical genres, an incredible writer who can spin incredible yarns and draw viewers into nightmarish worlds and fantastical places, a man of intense wit and a great funny bone (you have to read his monthly introductions in Doctor Who Magazine to understand what I mean. Hi-la-rious.)

These days, Moffat is the Doctor Who showrunner, a position for which he gave up a lucrative and prestigious deal as a writer for Steven Spielberg’s and Peter Jackson’s Tintin trilogy. However, he did write the screenplay for the first of the 3 movies titled The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Along with taking over Doctor Who, Steven Moffat is now working on a new series called Sherlock with British actor and author Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen, Jekyll, Sense and Sensibility 2008), who is also keeping an eye on the BBC production. The two share co-creator credits.

Gatiss wrote a few Doctor Who stories, amongst them The Unquiet Dead, The Idiot’s Lantern and more recently Victory of the Daleks. He also appeared as Doctor Lazarus in series 3’s The Lazarus Experiment.

Sherlock will star Benedict Cumberbatch (Amazing Grace, The Other Boleyn Girl) in the role of the great Sherlock Holmes himself and Martin Freeman (The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Hot Fuzz) will be his ever faithful sidekick Dr. John Watson. Rupert Graves (Death at a Funeral 2007) will play Inspector Lestrade.

Much like he modernized his critically acclaimed Jekyll by bringing the character into the 21st century, Steven Moffat will now ply his trade and bring the greatest detective in the world to a modern setting.

 Martin Freeman

There will be 3 x 90 minute films, and everything that is Sherlock Holmes will remain the same. Same address, same character names and Moriarty might be out there to taunt our famous detective.

About Sherlock, Steven Moffat says:

"Everything that matters about Holmes and Watson is the same.

"Conan Doyle's stories were never about frock coats and gas light; they're about brilliant detection, dreadful villains and blood-curdling crimes – and frankly, to hell with the crinoline. Other detectives have cases, Sherlock Holmes has adventures, and that's what matters.

"Mark and I have been talking about this project for years, on long train rides to Cardiff for Doctor Who. Quite honestly, we'd still be talking about it if Sue Vertue of Hartswood Films (conveniently also my wife) hadn't sat us down for lunch and got us to work."

Mark Gatiss had this to say about the show's main star, British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, and how his Sherlock Holmes is like:

"You've got to find a dimension of Sherlock Holmes that's recognisable. Over the years they've cast some round-faced actors and it just doesn't work - he has to be tall and angular. To some extent you go with a classical version because that just is Sherlock Holmes. Also, at the time, Sherlock wasn't a period piece, he was a modern man. So we've done exactly the same thing. Benedict's playing a modern man who's completely obsessed with his gadgets. Like in the original stories, Sherlock had a huge store of data, but now Sherlock obviously has access to a huge store of data online and is able to use everything the modern world brings to fighting crime. But he's still a strange man with no social skills!"

Mark Gatiss

And of course, since Gatiss and Moffat have both worked on Doctor Who, Gatiss mentions that there are definitely some comparisons between Moffat's reboot of Doctor Who and the upcoming Sherlock:

"It's absolutely there. There's documentary evidence that in the formulation of The Doctor [in the sixties], there's an awful lot of Sherlock Holmes influence. There's always been crossover. But they're not aimed to be parallel series. You see Benedict in his fantastic coat, with his collar up, doing a windswept Cardiff commentary, and possibly in the way he is - fantastic and eccentric - you can draw parallels with Matt Smith, but you could have done the same with Jeremy Brett and Peter Davison in the eighties."

Jeremy Brett as the quintessential Sherlock Holmes and David Burke as his ever faithful friend Dr. John Watson.

An original pilot episode was shot in early 2009 but 2 weeks ago, it has been leaked to The Sun that the BBC has decided not to air the £800,000 pilot, and that it will instead focus on the 3 movies. The reason given was that: "The stories are now more intricate and detailed, so they basically had to start again."

Despite that small set back, I have to say that I'm intrigued by this newest version of the Sherlock Holmes stories.With the success of Guy Ritchie's own Sherlock Holmes movie, with Robert Downey JR and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson, I believe that the time is ripe to revisit the famous detective. That the endeavor is in the hands of an incredible team as the on made up of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss makes it all the more exciting.

Sherlock is scheduled to air in the UK in July 2010.

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  1. Oh... Yet another Sherlock Holmes gig. The idea is great, cast, crew and writers too but what about timing?

  2. Timing is great, in my opinion, because of the interest that was sparked again by Ritchie's version of Sherlock Holmes.

  3. Yeah but Guy Ritchie's has Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr and it's hard to compete with that although I believe Moffat's is going to have a better writting and better acting. That's why I'm questioning it's timing.

  4. True, Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law were definitely a plus in the Ritchie version. But I'm thinking if one can make Sherlock Holmes interesting and edgy, it's Steven Moffat. Check out Jekyll if you haven't seen it yet!

  5. more and more Sherlocks apperar ,But no one can exceed Jeremy Brett.