ComingSoon.net spent half a day last week at the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great in East London, there to watch director Guy Ritchie shoot a scene from his new take on the classic British literary hero Sherlock Holmes. The character was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over 120 years ago, and as hard as it might be to believe, this exciting new version of the character will be his first English language appearance on the big screen in over twenty years.
We can’t say much or give too much of what we saw or talked about, but we mainly watched Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in action as the new Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, fighting a bunch of bowler hat wearing thugs as Ritchie shot what would be the movie’s opening sequence from all different angles. We also got to sit down with the two actors and the film’s three primary producers, Joel Silver and Susan Downey from Dark Castle, and Lionel Wigram, the executive producer of the last two “Harry Potter” movies, all who talked about the evolution of the project, the approach being taken and how they helped get it off the ground with Ritchie at the helm and Downey Jr. under Holmes’ trademark cap. Obviously, with Silver and Ritchie involved, this was going to be a very different Sherlock Holmes, and through our interviews, what we saw being shot and a sneak preview of other footage, we got to see exactly how different. (Let’s just say that this is going to be as exciting and as dynamic a movie as you’d expect from those involved, but fans of the Doyle’s novels won’t be disappointed either.)
We’d also have a chance to talk at length with actor Eddie Marsan, who most here might know from his role as the villain in Will Smith’s Hancock or from the movies of Mike Leigh like the recent Happy-Go-Lucky. He plays London Chief Inspector Lestrade in Sherlock Holmes, and though we only got to see him briefly in character, he did talk a lot about his relationship with Holmes. Unfortunately, Mark Strong, who plays the film’s main baddie Blackwood wasn’t on set that day because he was across town shooting on Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass.
That’s what you have to look forward to when we post our full set visit report probably sometime next year. Sherlock Holmes is scheduled for release by Warner Bros. on November 20, 2009.