In his short story The Final Problem Arthur Conan Doyle, suffering from an "overdose" of his most famous character, decided to smite Sherlock Holmes; the deerstalker-clad 'tec was apparently killed in a tussle with nemesis Moriarty, the pair plunging over Reichenbach Falls to their doom. Public outcry saw Doyle resurrect Holmes for The Adventure of the Empty House, yet had he lived to see this day, he perhaps would have considered leaving him interred: it has been announced that Jude Law will playing the erstwhile assistant Dr. Watson to Robert Downey Jr's eponymous ruminator, in an "all-action" film directed by Guy Ritchie.
Yes, Ritchie, purveyor of tedious mockney gangster films, arm jewellery on the burly biceps of Madonna, and local publican, is to make a movie on the life of London's most famous fictional character. And the lead will be played by an American, with support from one of the more overrated of today's actors, one who already has a reputation for ruining British classics.
Said the director: "It won't be a traditional Guy Ritchie thing, it will be a new Guy Ritchie thing." Note that the last time Guy tried "new things" we got Swept Away and Revolver, two catastrophic clunkers that nearly swept his entire career down the crapper before this year's RocknRolla steered him back on to the gangsters-by-rote caper that made him. He's already announced that Moriarty, while he will appear, will go under the name of Blackwood. Richard, perhaps? Only Guy knows, but we wouldn't put it past him.
It's enough to make the turgid prospect of a comedic version, with Sasha Baron Cohen as Sherlock and Will Ferrel as Watson - a film simultaneously in production - seem elementary.