Henry Cavill was a left-field choice for the part of Sherlock Holmes in Netflix’s smash hit Enola Holmes, but it turns out to have been a stroke of genius to cast the DC star as the Great Detective. The internet is loving him in the role and, though it’s still Millie Bobby Brown’s show, Cavill’s take on the super sleuth has gained a lot of attention and applause. But how did the Justice League actor come to land this unlikely gig?
Well, director Harry Bradbeer has revealed why he gave Cavill the job in an interview with Decider. The filmmaker explained that the actor’s beefy physique wasn’t part of the reason he was cast. Rather, it was because he saw a “gentility” in him that he thought would be perfect for this fresh interpretation of Sherlock and that he didn’t think Cavill had got to show on screen before, what with his famous brooding roles like Superman and The Witcher‘s Geralt of Rivia.
“[Cavill’s] gentility was probably what drew me to him, rather than any particular physical type. I love the idea of a fresh approach. Certainly, Henry’s presence and his size are all part of the freshness of this interpretation. I wanted a Sherlock who could go on a journey from the Sherlock that we all know-to having met his sister and being pushed into an emotional corner. He was forced to open up. So I needed someone who could go to those places. I had a hunch, looking at Henry, that he was hiding that. I didn’t think he had many opportunities to do that.”
Bradbeer went on to recall his first meeting with Cavill and how this led him to believe that he was the best fit for the part, saying:
“We met, and had a cup of tea-actually, I think it was a cocktail. We had two gin and tonics, in fact, in Hammersmith [London]. We started to talk about him and his background and his family and his life. Soon, as we started to talk about the character as well, we realized there were plenty of places to feed off of and work with. There was so much gentleness, and all kinds of wonderful things in his nature that were there to use. I thought, “Well, you can do this. Let’s do it. It’ll be different for you and different for the audience.”
As we’ve previously discussed, Enola Holmes takes place at an early point in Holmes’ crime fighting career, so Cavill is playing a version of Sherlock who’s not fully formed yet. He doesn’t even have Dr. Watson at his side. Presumably, we could see Cavill’s Sherlock grow into the more familiar character over time, though. That is, assuming that Netflix go ahead and give the film at least one more sequel. As Bradbeer reveals to Decider, he’s hoping to be able to tell a five-movie arc to really allow him room to explore the eccentric and dysfunctional Holmes family.
What do you think of Henry Cavill’s Sherlock in Enola Holmes, though? And how does he rank against the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr.? Have your say in the comments section below.