Following the news that writer/director Bill Condon is to reunite with his Gods And Monsters star Ian McKellen for a film featuring Sherlock Holmes, it seems that another reunion is on the cards. Condon’s Kinsey and The Fifth Estate star, Laura Linney, will now join the project as well, which is an adaptation of Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel, A Slight Trick Of The Mind.
With the source material having been adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher (Casanova, The Duchess), along with Condon, the story depicts the character of Sherlock Holmes having reached his twilight years. He is frail and elderly, with an unreliable memory – but attempts to reflect on his life, and a particularly troubling unsolved case from decades previously. McKellen will play Holmes, while Linney has been cast as his housekeeper, Mrs. Munro.
The character of Sherlock Holmes, as conceived by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887, first appeared on film in a 30 second Mutoscope reel in 1900, titled Sherlock Holmes Baffled. Since then, he has taken the World Record for “Most Portrayed Movie Character,” with over 220 distinct performances to his name. Such is the enduring fascination with the character that – although Doyle produced only 60 Sherlock Holmes stories, he has been embraced by successive generations of storytellers, both as his own character, and as a model for new ones.
A Slight Trick Of The Mind is executive produced and co-financed by BBC Films, and will roll before cameras this summer in the UK. Further casting announcements have yet to be made – most notably the third of the three main characters in Cullin’s source novel. That original story has Sherlock reminiscing with his housekeeper’s son, and recounting as much of his memories as he can muster. It remains to be seen how closely this adaptation sticks to the source material, and which actor will be tapped for those vital listening duties. As ever, watch this space for further developments.