Ritchie says: Robert Downey Jnr
We say: Jason Statham
Statham has evolved from his marginal role as Mouthy Drunk #3 in Guy Richie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels into Britain’s premier, high-kicking slab of prime beefcake. Statham seems like the obvious choice to drag the industrious ratiocinator kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Obviously, the final kiss-off – where Holmes explains his findings in a single, fluid diatribe – will have to be chopped into a series of punchy taglines: ‘It’s my way or the highway,’ or ‘Hurts, don’t it?’
Ritchie says: Jared Harris
We say: Will Ferrell
As a criminal mastermind and underworld puppetmaster, the Napoleon of crime is a figure any actor would love to sink his teeth into. Shadowy, mysterious and enigmatic, it is a part that Gary Oldman was born to play at this stage in his career, but rumour has it that Guy is taking the role in another direction. With a script that sees Moriarty reimagined, Rupert Everett and Mark Strong’s interest has been rebuffed in favour of number-one-choice Will Ferrell’s sidelong brand of wit and sophistry.
Ritchie says: Geraldine James
We say: Madonna
‘Oo, Mr ‘Olmes, you do look a froight…’ With her role expanded at the last minute for some unexplained reason, pie-faced ‘cockernee sparrer’ and discopop queen Madonna gets the chance to flex her unnerving granny-muscles once again as Holmes’s landlady Mrs Hudson. This time it’s Hudson’s turn to shine, defending an inebriated Holmes from Moriarty’s henchmen using the weapons in her Victorian kitchen arsenal.
Ritchie says: Eddie Marsan
We say: Harvey from So Solid Crew
The usually clueless and almost always officious face of Scotland Yard, Lestrade warns Holmes about getting in the way of his police investigations, only to end up following the detective around like a wide-eyed puppy. One can imagine any number of actors, from Steve Buscemi to Rowan Atkinson, bringing something memorable to the role. That’s why it’s almost certain to be handed to Harvey from So Solid Crew… or Jamie Redknapp.
Ritchie says: Stephen Fry
We say: Larry David
Although his approach to casting can most charitably said to be ‘scattershot’, the mockney maestro might have hit the nail on his head with his choice of actor to play Sherlock’s older, smarter brother. However, bald, beaky and mostly unshaven dyspeptic comedian Larry David not only possesses the natural belligerence to portray Jason Statham’s elder sibling, but resembles him to a fraternal degree.
Ritchie says: Jude Law
We say: Simon Pegg
Formerly credible comic actor Pegg did a good job of stretching a grating one-note, bit-part sidekick skit across the duration of the new Mission: Impossible film. We’re therefore convinced that he’s the man to plunder the camp comedic potentials of Holmes’ bumbling partner. He’s also less intimidating than Jude Law, which could bump up the slapstick.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is in UAE cinemas now. Read our review on the opposite page.