Sir Ian McKellen to Play a Retired Sherlock Holmes

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Sir Ian McKellen is teaming up with The Fifth Estate director Bill Condon on A Slight Trick of the Mind. Based on a novel of the same name by Mitch Cullin, the screenplay is being adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher. The story is described as follows:

In 1947, Sherlock Holmes, long retired, lives in a sleepy Sussex village with his housekeeper and her amateur-sleuthing son. But far from living out a peaceful retirement, he is haunted by an unsolved case from fifty years ago. He remembers only fragments: a confrontation with an angry husband, a secret bond with his beautiful but unstable wife.

With his legendary mental powers on the wane, and without his old sidekick Watson, Holmes is faced with the toughest case of his life – a case that might finally reveal to him the mysteries of the human heart.

Set to film next April in the UK, the film will be produced by Anne Carey, through her new venture Archer Gray Productions; Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films; and Aviv Giladi, CEO of Icon/AI Film. Executive producers are Len Blavatnik and BBC Films head Christine Langan. BBC Films is also co-financing. Icon will finance and produce under its Al Film banner, the production arm of the Icon UK Group owned by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries.

Condon and McKellen previously worked together on Gods and Monsters.

Anne Carey said: “Mitch Cullin’s elegiac novel is not so much about solving a mystery, as it is about accepting life’s mysteries. I could not be more excited about the talent who have come together to make this film a reality.”

AI Film CEO Aviv Giladi added: “Bill Condon and Ian McKellen are a perfect match for this clever and intriguing project, the third on our current production slate. The next few months will be exciting as we move closer to shooting with our producer partners Anne Carey and Iain Canning.”