It was just yesterday we reported that Benedict Cumberbatch, known for his role on BBC’s Sherlock, was set to star in Lost City of Z, a suspenseful adventure about an expedition into the Brazilian jungles. And while Cumberbatch is set to return as Sherlock Holmes later this year, Deadline reports that Sir Ian McKellan will be playing a much older version of the literary legend in A Slight Trick of the Mind.
Based on a novel by Mitch Cullin, A Slight Trick of the Mind follows a retired Sherlock Holmes, now 93, who revisits a fifty-year old case.
It is 1947, and the long-retired Sherlock Holmes, now 93, lives in a remote Sussex farmhouse with his housekeeper and her young son. He tends to his bees, writes in his journal, and grapples with the diminishing powers of his mind. But in the twilight of his life, as people continue to look to him for answers, Holmes revisits a case that may provide him with answers of his own to questions he didn’t even know he was asking–about life, about love, and about the limits of the mind’s ability to know. A novel of exceptional grace and literary sensitivity, A Slight Trick of the Mind is a brilliant imagining of our greatest fictional detective and a stunning inquiry into the mysteries of human connection.
The film will be directed by Bill Condon, who ironically just finished directing Cumberbatch in The Fifth Estate. This will be Condon’s second outing with McKellan, having previously directed him in Gods and Monsters. The screenplay will be written by Jeffrey Hatcher (The Duchess) and start production in the UK next April.
This sounds like an exciting project and a completely different take on Sherlock Holmes, a character who continues to pop up in a variety of incarnations, with Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, Guy Ritchies’ Sherlock Holmes, and the CBS show, Elementary. With such a saturation of the character in the media today, it takes a lot to give the detective a new look and feel, so seeing him as a 93-year old struggling to solve a case due to his age sounds like it could be a lot more dramatic than the other incarnations. It’s also worth mentioning that McKellan himself is just 74.
Plus, Ian McKellan as Sherlock Holmes? I mean, come on, what’s not to love about that?
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