The 21st Century has proven surprisingly fertile ground for Sherlock Holmes adaptations, with countless movies and TV shows continuing the iconic detective’s legacy as one of the most enduringly popular literary creations in history. Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller have both played the sleuth on the small screen in recent years, while Robert Downey Jr., Ian McKellen and Will Ferrell have all donned the deerstalker in feature length films.
Henry Cavill is no stranger to legendary characters having spent the better part of a decade as the DCEU’s Superman, as well as auditioning for James Bond earlier in his career, and the 37 year-old will next be seen as Sherlock when Netflix’s Enola Holmes arrives on Wednesday. The title heroine takes center stage this time around as her more famous big brother is pushed into a supporting role, and in a recent interview, Cavill admitted that not playing the lead has taken some of the pressure off his shoulders, allowing him to put his own spin on Baker Street’s most famous son in the process.
“Our Sherlock is different from what we may see as the traditional misogynistic genius. Enola softens Sherlock and opens up his heart, which we haven’t really had access to in other renditions. It was a lot of fun taking on such an iconic role, particularly as an enormous amount of the pressure was off because Sherlock’s not at the forefront of the story. Enola is, so he’s not going to be directly compared to Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr’s version.”
Fans are clearly very much on board with seeing what The Witcher star can bring to a role that’s been played dozens upon dozens of times in the past, and he went on to explain both the longevity of Sherlock’s appeal and how that inspired his approach to portraying him.
“I’m not sure I have as practiced an eye as Sherlock, who can see all these insane details, but I’d definitely never give up if I was a sleuth. I’m dogged and determined, and I will dig until I get to the bottom of something. We never tire of detective dramas because we get to compete with these incredible fictional geniuses and if we work it out, we have an enormous sense of satisfaction. If we don’t, we get satisfaction from the reveal at the end. My mother was extremely good at this.”
Enola Holmes is shaping up to be another big hit for Netflix, and the all-ages mystery thriller currently holds an impressive Rotten Tomatoes score of 86%, with a sequel already rumored to be in development. And with plenty more books in the series still to mine for inspiration, star and producer Millie Bobby Brown could be sticking around as Sherlock’s kid sister for a long time to come.