Sherlock Holmes has made his reputation finding the truth at the heart of the most complex mysteries. The renowned detective is unequaled in his pursuit of criminals of every stripe, whether relying on his singular powers of observation, his remarkable deductive skills, or the blunt force of his fists. But now a storm is gathering over London , a threat unlike anything that Holmes has ever confronted…and just the challenge he’s looking for.
In a dynamic new portrayal of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous character, Robert Downey Jr. plays the legendary detective in Warner Bros.’ new action-adventure “Sherlock Holmes.”
The re-imagining of “Sherlock Holmes” unfolds against the backdrop of London in 1890, when the city seems at the center of the world, with technology extending mankind’s reach and all things new racing to replace the old. “There’s a growing engagement in technologies of the near future, and this sense of wonderment,” Robert Downey Jr. observes. “They’re verging on all these incredible things.”
But for all the polish and prestige, 1890s London is also a cesspool into which all the criminals of contemporary society drain…which makes it the ideal city for a man like Sherlock Holmes. Downey continues, “You have this incredibly fascinating yet dangerous city, and Holmes knows every inch of it. He feels that this is his city in which to engage the enemy. And he knows what he’s up against.”
For director Guy Ritchie, having Downey in the title role became the key to unlocking a new interpretation of “Sherlock Holmes.” “In my opinion, Robert is the perfect Holmes,” says the director. “He’s American, but his English accent is flawless and he has an international feel to him. In his own way, Robert’s also a bit of a genius. He’s tremendously smart and quick-witted, and is very comfortable playing a character like Holmes without any artifice or pretension.”
Producer Susan Downey agrees. “The eloquence of Holmes, his use of words and language, seems to come very naturally to Robert. There is also real physicality to the role in our film. Holmes participates in bare-knuckle boxing fights and practices martial arts, which Robert has been doing for the past six years. So, it was a very natural progression to immediately think of Robert as Holmes.”
Holmes’s unconventional quirks and understated idealism resonated with the actor. “He’s an archetype,” Robert Downey Jr. asserts. “There’s something so monastic about him—his intentions are so pure, and his moral code is strengthened by his resolve and his actions. When he feels he’s not inspired or motivated by some creative charge, he’ll fall into a state where he barely speaks a word for three days, and when he’s engaged, he has incredible amounts of energy, super-human energy. He says, ‘There’s nothing more stimulating than a case where nothing goes your way.’ And, in the end, Holmes’s passionate curiosity and his ability to not only see but interpret these details are what make him so unique.”
Opening across the Philippines on Friday, January 8, “Sherlock Holmes” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.