Moriarty desperately tries to out smart SHERLOCK HOLMES' Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law - but instead ends up back on AICN! PART 2
Hey folks, Harry here with another Moriarty posting. Moriarty keeps trying to color his "leaving" of AICN thing with some sort of honor, but the facts are... We fight. We have always fought. And he just wussed out. Plain and simple. He screamed and bitched about me cheating at Thumb War - and so we played best out of 100,000. I won 99,982 times and he just went fetal position on me. Next thing I know he's writing on some other site. Ok. That's not true. Actually, the truth is... Moriarty and I were sunning naked on this nude gay beach at Sitges, Spain when this hot Spanish tranny came up and propositioned me. I have nothing against tranny sex, but this one was equipped a bit more than I usually like. Moriarty sat up and said he'd give "her" a go, but the Tranny laughed at Mori and walked off. He's always been jealous that the Tranny wanted me and not him... And that was the seed that was planted that caused Drew to leave. True Story. Kinda. Anyway. Enough old AICN true stories, and on to the second stage of Moriarty's historical SHERLOCK HOLMES report, but not the last!
Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here.
So when part one of this set visit ended, I was just sitting down in an upstairs room at this industrial space in the heart of London, converted for the day’s filming into a working slaughterhouse. Across from me, trying to stay close to the oversize heater that had been set up for the three of us, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law were in full costume as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, his best friend and professional companion. And Downey was teasing me all the way up the stairs about being Moriarty. He seemed very entertained, and it was strange, after watching the ride he’s been on this past year with “Iron Man” and “Tropic Thunder,” to have him in full-on playful mode.
Keep in mind when we talk about Holmes on film that we’re talking about features. TV is something else entirely. I know how loyal and faithful the Jeremy Brett/David Burke versions are, but even there, I have some casting issues, and the TV scale is what it is. This movie is a different approach… one we haven’t seen on this level before.
Someone asked if we wanted anything to drink. Law thought it over for a moment, rubbing his hands together to try and warm them. “A cappuccino.” Robert gave her a much more complicated order for something she’d never heard of, and as he tried to explain it, I sat down and set up my tape recorder.
“M”: So, they screened a chunk of it for me. So I got to see the fight with the Drudger. And the chase all the way up to the end of the boat sequence. And then…
RDJ: The Drudger. Because that’s what he is, isn’t it?
“M”: And then the boxing scene. I love how it walks you through the thought process behind taking someone apart, and it shows how clinical Sherlock is, even in the ring, even in something as hot-blooded as a fight. It’s unavoidable having worked as Moriarty for the last 12 years… people have sent me books and films and I’ve watched and read it all… and even thought I wasn’t like nutty for Sherlock Holmes before all this, I’ve got a very strong opinion now about what makes him the greatest pulp character of all time. And he really was. And I have to say… one of the things that sold me on what you guys were doing, or that got me interested, was when they cast you in the film, actually…
RDJ: Fuckin’ a right.
“M”: Because that, to me, is Watson, and part of getting this right is getting Watson right.
RDJ: Well, we agree. (laughs)
“M”: It’s almost been…
RDJ: I just almost started crying. No, wait. I did cry a little bit, I think.
RDJ: I must just be tired.
“M”: It’s such a strong indicator of understanding the source material and trying it in a particular way.
JL: Well, that’s the power of film, isn’t it? How even if you don’t spend time watching them, we are all awash in the iconography of the Basil Rathbone movies. That’s Holmes on film. And I was, frankly, stunned when I went back and started listening to the radio plays and reading the stories… and to learn that Watson was so far away from the bumbling idiot and the “Old Doctor”… so obviously I’m thrilled to hear you say that. Because that’s what Robert and Guy saw when they asked me onboard. When I jumped on, it was to work with these two great guys. What I got when I went back to the source material was, “Oh, my god, here’s a part that’s never really been explored because it’s been handed over to portly gentlemen to sort of blunder around behind him instead of bracing the idea of him as a soldier and sidekick and confidante and… what do you call it… his whetstone.
RDJ: You can’t blame them, though. Historically, the archetypes had to work that way in the ‘30s and the ‘40s. That’s how you would cast it… polar opposites. Instead, we want two guys who are really back-to-back, and the two of them together make a third thing. Which is really… they can tell the story of these cases, and they activate these cases, and they solve these cases. So, so…
“M”: Well, the stories read very modern. They’re pulp, but when you read them, the language and the storytelling… it’s very modern. There’s nothing dated about it. Burroughs… H.G. Wells… those guys date. But Doyle broke a lot of the rules of pulp. I love that Irene Adler is coming back in your film, and the role she played in Sherlock’s life in the stories. Most people would have made her a romantic foil, but it was very different than that. She bested him. She out-thought him. That’s the electricity between them. Nothing as simple as sex. And I love that these characters changed… they weren’t static…
JL: Exactly. They developed over time.
“M”: It’s an interesting moment you pick for them, to tell this story, as Watson’s about to get married. Sort of breaking up the band.
RDJ: We call this the origin story because even though they’ve been working together, Watson still hasn’t published a single thing.
RDJ: He’s writing. We get the feeling he’s putting it all down. But he still hasn’t… he hasn’t found the way to… I love the idea that the movie you’re watching is a story about the idea of telling the story that’s being told. It’s sort of a great comment, having someone inside the story, realizing that this is a story worth telling. I love it.
JL: We live in a time when our cities are all shifting, and changing, and there’s a certain amount of tension, flashpoints where things are just bubbling up and spilling over, and we see it in films like “Gomorrah,” or “City of God.” And Victorian London was sort of the height of that. Victorian London was this sort of seething fucking mass of crime and criminality and humanity, but also sort of industry and hard work. Hard, hard labor. So we see that giant boatyard. And we see them out on the streets. And to really be able to put some money behind that, to bring that to life, that’s exciting.
“M”: I love that in films like “Gomorrah” or “City of God.” That sense as you watch… “thank god I wasn’t born there. Thank god that’s not how I have to live.” And this film’s London seems to be that sort of time and place. Bridges being built. The new squeezing out the old. And it’s not all drawing rooms and high tea.
JL: Well, again, that’s part of what makes it feel fresh and timeless and modern, isn’t it? It’s not about that society world. Here’s a guy… you know, they started sharing together because they didn’t have the money for a place, either one, by themselves. And the world they venture into… it’s the world of criminals and murderers and prostitutes…
“M”: Opium dens…
JL: Opium dens.
RDJ: And the characters. Man, we do this right, then we bring in the Baker Street Irregulars. Little street arabs, going out and running stuff. And we want to bring in… the funny thing is, naturally, there’s this three-part story that sort of suggests itself that we’re talking about. Bringing them abroad. Bringing them to the States. And the shape of it, it’s sort of the like the shape of the superhero stuff I’m doing. And Holmes… you know, Holmes is much more of an archetype than a character you’re supposed to relate to. And to get to go back to the Doyle, to have this rich material that you get to draw from… it’s got this life of its own, and all you have to do is honor it. The baby tells you what it wants.
“M”: I love that people were so attached to Sherlock as a real person. That they mourned when he died…
(“I’m afraid they’re going to need you back downstairs.”)
“M”: RDJ: Why?
(“They need you for blocking.”)
“M”: RDJ: We just shot it.
(“They need you for rehearsal.”)
“M”: RDJ: They want us to rehearse what we just shot? What do our stand-ins do? Am I allowed to throw a tantrum now? (to me) Listen, we haven’t even begun our day in the sun here. We will be back. Round two, okay?
As we were walking down the stairs, I saw that they had turned the entire set-up around, in what had been less than ten minutes upstairs. “Jesus,” I said, “is the lighting crew being chased by a bear? Who’s shooting this?”
Downey smiled as he answered. “Philippe Rousselot.” Okay, that’s it. I’m already all geeked out from being on-set, but Rousselot seals the deal for me. I’m a big cinematography nerd, so I love the idea of getting a shot at this guy at some point during my time on-set. I know it’s always hard to pull the DP away, but Rousselot is so legendarily fast that maybe I’ll be able to get him. And my god… this is the guy who shot “Diva.” Amazing.
I mention the idea to the publicist, and then head back to video village while they steer Robert and Jude to the set. I talk a bit more with both Susan and Lionel, and they strike me as almost like kids who are getting away with something, like they can’t believe someone’s letting them have this much fun. Susan has a real grounded vibe, very matter-of-fact, and comes across as immediately warm and personable. Lionel is more of a big kid, just sort of giddy to show off how cool his train set is. His mother was onset the same day I was, and at one point, he showed her the same footage on his laptop that I saw, and I saw in Lionel the same feelings I have every single time I sit my parents down to watch or read something I’m involved in. There’s a special anxiety in sharing with our parents, and it’s sort of charming to see the producer of a giant $100 million-plus sized movie sweating his mom’s reaction.
They try a few more takes of the scene, Watson and Holmes preparing to each head in a different direction to stop whoever’s shooting at them. And twice, as they were running the lines, I could have sworn I heard Downey say “Hotson.” And the second time, Ritchie called cut.
“Robert, am I hearing Hotson?”
“Certainly not. I wouldn’t dream of it.”
Lionel explained that Robert had taken to calling Jude “Hotson” because of what a dreamy, manly Watson he’s playing. And now he seems determined to slip a few into the finished film, despite Ritchie’s determination otherwise.
As soon as they finished the shot they were trying to get, they were hustled off the set and back upstairs, and they were already taking their seats when I arrived back in the room. Robert was rolling a cigarette when I came in.
“M”: You know, this is the first set visit I’ve ever been on where my wife and my three year old were equally jealous of me being on-set.
“M”: Are you kidding? You’re Tony Stark. My kid is a HUUUUGE Tony fan. And my wife for very different reasons.
RDJ: Oh, man, we’ll get all sorts of gobbledygook together and I’ll sign some shit up for him.
“M”: He memorized the entire “Iron Man” trailer. He could do the whole thing. “Yeah. I can fly.”
RDJ: What’s his name?
“M”: Toshi. Toshiro.
RDJ: Toshi? I know a Toshi. (to A.D.) Okay, this time, we don’t want to be disturbed until we’re satisfied. So if they need us, tell them to reconceive the entire movie. (to me) I’m so powerful now.
“M”: So how much prep time did you have together? Did you do anything to sort of work on your chemistry at all? So much of this comes down to believing the friendship between you.
RDJ: We started working the moment we met, before he was even officially on the project, when we first met at Claridge’s. We were in hot, hot pursuit.
JL: (laughs) It’s true, though. We started right off. And there’s been no time, really. There’s… there’s this great myth… that you always get to have time to prep things. And sometimes, sure, it’s true. There’s a thing I’m working on now, I’ve had a year to prepare, and that’s just so far. And it’s heavenly. But the truth of the matter is you sometimes have to rely on basics. Your instinct.
RDJ: Or if it’s between us, it’s more like basic instinct. Grrrowr.
JL: You do, you know what I mean? And we both just hit this, uh, this approach… it was clear the moment we sat down, what we would have to do, what we wanted to tackle. I was very honest about what I wanted to bring out of Watson, and they seemed to love what I was saying, and really click with it, and he was very much Holmes right away, the way he talked to me about what I was thinking, and it just started. And the truth of the matter is, we’re still watching the process evolve as we do it every single day.
RDJ: That’s the thing, dude. At the end of the day, my bottom line is… “Great, this is your craft. Great, you can bring things up. Great, you have experience.” Your experience… it comes down to, at this point, do you know how to be good in a scene, scene by scene? You have to be relaxed, but paying attention at the same time. And you have to do it every single time all day long. As we’re sitting here, right now, I’m still thinking about what we did this morning, still wondering if there’s a way we can beat that line as I throw that target right before I go after Irene.
“M”: I watched how you guys were calibrating it downstairs… how you were really debating how much time someone can hang there, how to pace the scene, when you need to react…
JL: That scene wasn’t there this morning. We wrote that. We’ll build a whole scene in the morning. Then cut it down as we shoot it a few times. And just keep squeezing it and compressing it, and trying to get the fat out of it. The process is happening now. It helps when you all start on the same page and you’re all jazzed by the same ideas, the same version of what you’re trying to do, and you’re all heading in the same direction.
“M”: Lionel was saying earlier that you both have the tendency of introducing bits of dialogue you found in one of the Doyle stories, something you liked particularly.
RDJ: How can you beat the master? What are you going to say about the characters that he hasn’t said better? Now, sometimes it’s a bit of a square peg in a round hole because you’re in more of an active situation, but sometimes we’ll just stop and turn it upside down. Like I’m fiddling for 20 minutes trying to pick a lock, sure that I’ve read the trick and can master it, and he just comes up and kicks the door open. And that’s when we decide I can say, “Watson, it gives me great comfort to know that there is someone on who I can thoroughly rely,” when in fact, that’s just me saying, “Fuck it.” There are a lot of different ways to skin a cat, but the cats are always his words.
JL: He found this bible of quotes…
RDJ: I look it from Leslie Klinger.
JL: And it’s all the elements, broken down. So it’s Watson on Watson. Watson on Holmes. Holmes on Watson. Holmes on Holmes. Holmes on art. Watson on music. And it’s just filled with these beautiful little ten-word gems. Snippets. And we’ve used a lot of those. And you always have to be aware of the fan base. This is bigger than just a cult following. And yet, there’s a generation who’s never had a Sherlock Holmes, and we can introduce him to them. And there’s a group older than them, who think they sort of know Holmes, and I think we can reintroduce him to them.
“M”: I was a little surprised to see how long it’s been since there was any big serious theatrical treatment of the character.
RDJ: When was it? The ‘80s?
“M”: I think the last guy to take a real shot at it was Nick Meyer with “The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.”
RDJ: Which, by the way… was great. Fantastic. And you could never make that movie today.
“M”: And Billy Wilder took his shot. For a lot of guys, this has been this thing they want to try and do. I think it makes a lot of sense for Guy to do this. So much of his work is about male camaraderie and the code that exists between men. A lot of it’s unspoken, but you can count on the other guy. And it seems like Holmes and Watson are defining for that in general for English literature, that archetypical relationship.
JL: I think it’s good that the pressure’s off him as a writer. Having another writer onboard.
RDJ: Oh, yeah.
JL: And as a writer, he follows banter and dialogue and, especially, that sort of one-line banter brilliantly. We’ll bring him a laundry list of stuff and say, “This is what Conan Doyle said.” And we’ll hone that down first. And then he’ll look at it and say “Great. Trim that. Trim that. Trim that. Throw that out. Put that in.” It’s… you know… it’s a very healthy melting pot.
RDJ: We would also have, you know, one of our exhaustive four hour rehearsals where it would be Susan, and Tony, the writer, and I, and Lionel, and Jude and Guy… and here come the salmonella pages… and here come the goldenrod… and we’re sitting here hashing it out… and he comes in and he’s so bored by how we’re doing it. He eats all the food, lies down for a while, gets up, and he’s like, “Fuck, see you on set!” And he knows that when it gets to set, he’s going to have to run through it and it’ll change again to some degree, so he’s happy to just let us do our job ahead of time. To get it ready for him. Our job is to craft things up to a place where we’re happy enough to present it to him. And we all get there together. Another thing, talking about the pop-sci aspect of this, which would have been the unfortunate crutch to fall back on, is that Holmes is the identified genius patient, and Watson is the codependent caretaker, and all this type of stuff. And the deeper you go into something, the less black and white… there are all these shades of grey that we’re finding and playing… and it transcends some sort of psychologist’s explanation of who they are to each other. And like Jude said, we’re still finding out what all of this is. But anywhere we see a sort of naïve simplistic explanation for what the meat of a scene is, we just bowl it over, and sometimes, you know what? I know we’re about to go into a serious scene, and then we have lines like, we had one today, it was so… where… (smiles) It’s funny. It’s not quite appropriate for this movie, but you don’t know until you try it. We have to take a shot, and there’s this pig’s head, and so he takes one shot, and I tell him to save his bullets. And there’s something they want me to do, but… but Holmes would never empty his clip into a wall. He just wouldn’t. He wouldn’t. So, then, I go “Oh, wait a minute,” because I’ve got all these rules about what I will or won’t do, and that’s fine and good, but then when you look at this frame, what happens there, if he doesn’t shoot, and I shoot all of the bullets, it’s better for the scene. For the frame. That, ultimately, determines what is “truthful.”
“M”: There’s obviously a difference in how Holmes and Watson approach a scene intellectually. But then watching the fight scene at the boatyard, there’s a difference between how they fight. How they approach a problem physically. (to Law) You’re just sort of a brawler. You just wade in and start throwing knuckles.
“M”: I like watching Holmes think his way through the fight. He approaches each guy like a math problem to be solved. So how you handle things physically is very different. (to RDJ) I know you do martial arts in real life. That’s something you do for yourself. Has it been fun developing a fighting style for Holmes, a way of moving that is unique to him?
RDJ: It’s definitely been fun. It’s also been a confirmation of how ultimately the quote-unquote better man wins. But it’s great to see these techniques pay off when the stuntman is throwing haymakers at you and the blocks that you’ve been drilling for six months work pretty good. That said, you know, I’ve been getting banged up a little. And enjoying it. And some things we do are very choreographed, and we’re always trying to be aware of each other in the sequences, and communicating what’s going to happen, what we might try. And then… it’s funny, though, because my martial arts instructor is here. And he’s a consultant. And Richard Ryan is our coordinator, and he’s the guy from “Troy,” so we’re all trying to find a way to build in some sword play, and Franklin Henson is the overall guy, and he came in and was just really game… so we’re trying to put all of this training together. That’s really the big idea. Because it’s better when you get everyone in the same sandbox together. I hate it when it’s rigid, like, “Okay, now we’re acting. Okay, now we’re in stunt mode. Put your arm here.” I hate that.
JL: Guy’s great with this. He knows how to rev you up to those scenes on set. He knows how to set a sort of… a very visceral, very physical sort of a mood on set. Where everyone’s sort of, everyone’s doing pull-ups and fucking around… and it’s not macho… but by the time everyone’s ready, we know what kind of a day it’s going to be. And he’s serious about shooting this stuff. You know, Guy’s a big, he’s a serious jujitsu guy.
RDJ: Oh, my god… yes. Jujitsu.
JL: And yet there are these great cerebral conversations, and days where we can’t stop laughing, it’s just mad. And he’s got all those, he’s a very complete man. He’s got all those sort of strings that are being played.
“M”: Well, there’s a tendency… I like what you said about “stunt mode,” when things get over-rehearsed. And there’s a way of doing that and making it feel real, keeping that energy just loose enough that it feels dangerous. Your fights all felt loose. I was just visiting “Kick-Ass,” and watching Nic Cage rehearse a big long one-take fight sequence, he would push them to not get too perfect. He didn’t want it to feel like he knew what was going to happen next in the fight.
RDJ: Yeah, I’ll rehearse it until you know you’re not going to get hurt. Right? (sings) “We don’t need another heeeeero.” And Mark Strong, our Blackwood, is perversely in both movies. Ours and “Kick-Ass,” right?
“M”: I’m a big fan of Mark Strong.
JL: God… he, really… he’s been the luckiest fish in the pond for so many years now. Hiding behind wigs. He’s one of those guys who works and he’s great and he’s completely invisible. But I think that’s all going to end for him this year. He’s getting too good.
“M”: People are starting to recognize him. And the character he plays, Blackwood, seems drawn from the real world that Conan Doyle was part of, the occult movement. It’s a very pulpy bad guy for a reintroduction. Very big. This isn’t just a case.
RDJ: There are a lot of levels to play this sort of thing on. How do you play people’s need for spirituality against Gnostic understanding, and how do you use that to manipulate them? And again, we don’t want to play it as, “Here’s your side of the fence, and here’s this side of the fence.” There are times when I’m very strong in my approach, and you’re not, and times where I’m sort of doubting my shit, and you’re coming on strong, and things happen that put in doubt my professionalism. And it’s such an easy thing to get wrong, and I see it go wrong in movies sooo often, where they’re like, “That’s that.” And they just put a Band-Aid on a sucking wound of opportunity. And all that stuff in the wound, that’s more complexity, and more character, and not just “Keep it simple.” This is Sherlock Holmes. We’ve got to really think this through.
“M”: This is a rare opportunity to define an icon. And already, when the first photos of you guys in costume ran online, there was a shocked reaction that you didn’t have, you know, the… the fucking hat and the cape. And so what you do… if you make it your thing at all… you’re rolling the dice that it will become the version people think of first. That’s what you want. (to Jude) And we grew up with American icons… superheroes mostly… while for you… Sherlock Holmes has got to be one of the biggest homegrown icons. Him. James Bond.
JL: Oh, yeah.
“M”: Do you have a sense of responsibility?
JL: Yeah, and I take that responsibility very seriously, because I’m also very aware of being burned as an audience member when things like this were bad, and also… of how I could get burned by people’s harsh opinion if we get this wrong. And I feel like there are enough people behind this production who really care about it being very genuine, and a great spirit of wanting to refresh our source even as we take things from it. I think we are showing enormous respect to what we believe was originally intended, and also shining fresh light on what’s happening in these old stories. Lionel’s such a huge fan…
“M”: Transparently obvious when you talk to him.
RDJ: He’s why we’re all here.
JL: He is. And then Guy… he’s got the right vision to make Lionel’s love for Sherlock Holmes jump off of the screen.
RDJ: And we’ve got Susan Downey as den mother, and Joel coming in and just barking at everyone as he walks in, “Heywaitaminutethisthingoverhereshouldbebythetruckandthe…” And seriously, he’s the guy on a film like this, he’s here for broad strokes. He knows how to sell a film like this better than anyone. And he’s been here now a few times. The first time, it’s just like, “Hold on, I’d better come to London.” And he comes in and he’s on fire and he’s stoked and he’s loving it and he’s looking at pictures and he’s... he knows. He says, “I might be wrong sometimes, but looking at what you’re doing so far… you’re on the right track.” By the way… have we said Butch and Sundance yet?
“M”: Someone downstairs mentioned that. A vibe that you’re trying to tap into.
RDJ: As long as someone says that. That’s what we’re aiming for, yeah.
JL: There’s another one that I added to that, though.
RDJ: What’s that?
JL: Withnail & I.
“M”: Wow. If you can do that…
RDJ: We’re aiming high, right?
“M”: Cross Butch and Sundance with Withnail & I…
JL: It’s Withnail & I when they’re trapped at Baker Street, and it’s Butch and Sundance when they’re out dealing with other people.
“M”: That’s what I’ve never seen them really do before. Not in the features. The ennui. I love that in the script, it’s very much there. It’s a big part of what the film is about.
RDJ: I love the desperation. The way Watson… what’s that thing?
JL: Oh. “I must be one of the longest-suffering mortals.”
RDJ: (laughs) What a relationship. I feel like the movie asks the question, can you be comfortable being rooted in the mundane? Especially for Watson. Having a blue-collar job, being married, having kids… can you still make sure there’s room for that sense of adventure and peril and then always do the right thing? Because they have that one simple code. Do the right thing.
And by that point, the ADs were practically dragging them from the room, frantic to fit in one last set of shots before lunch. I was taken to eat early, so that maybe once lunch was done, I’d be able to speak to the elusive Rachel McAdams. And in our next set visit article, I’ll have that conversation, plus another chat with Robert that was away from producers and publicists and got much looser than I expected. Good stuff, and plenty more to go.
In the meantime, check out my new home over at the Motion/Captured blog at HitFix.com.
Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles
Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles
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March 11, 2009, 3:29 p.m. CST
I knew it
March 11, 2009, 3:36 p.m. CST
Or is it an AICN exclusive?<p> And Robert Downeys fuckin awesome..<p> "get all sorts of gobbledygook together and I’ll sign some shit up for him"
March 11, 2009, 3:39 p.m. CST
That's Watson's greatest betrayal! Holmes was trying to turn Watson into an equal, and Watson went and got married. It's why Holmes had to become Moriarty and try again with Moran.<p> Oh, and great interview Drew.
March 11, 2009, 3:51 p.m. CST
March 11, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST
by Kevin Holsinger
...or a bad thing that he didn't get to play Ozymandias after all.
March 11, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST
Hello Lessiarty. I know you're reading these. BOO.
March 11, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST
He sounds like a cool guy. Very laid back. I'm looking forward to this...I find it hard to believe that both Jude Law AND Robert Downey Jr. would've chosen to do this if it was bad. Guy Ritchie is far from perfect, but he shows talent.
March 11, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST
It seems like every time someone launches a new Holmes adaptation, we have the same conversation about Watson. I think Nigel Bruce was the last time we had a truly bumbling Watson on screen. Of course, it speaks to the power of his interpretation that it is still the version most audiences remember best. Since then, we've had stronger Watsons such as Andre Morell, H. Marion Crawford, James Mason, Donald Huston, Colin Blakely, Ben Kingsley, Robert Duvall, Ian Hart, David Burke and Edward Hardwicke. By now, I really don't think it's a huge surprise to see a competent Watson.
March 11, 2009, 4:39 p.m. CST
is a cool movie. That scene with the sword fighting on the top of the train -- kids these days always think "Steampunk" when they want to set something speculative in the late 19th century. The train scene in that movie makes me think Steamfunk, Victorian crossed with heroic fantasy.
March 11, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST
While the Seven-Per-Cent Solution is fun on its own merits, I sometimes regret the way it ushered in a revisionist approach to Holmes that has never fully subsided. Almost every interpretation since has spent too much time trying to explain Holmes' psychological foibles instead of just telling a good, straight-forward detective story. I hope Downey's version avoids that pitfall.
March 11, 2009, 4:49 p.m. CST
Fuck all this shit written by stupid cocks who think they can write mysteries as well as Doyle. Get back to the originals. Let's have a big screen, big budget HOTB adapted from the source material. It was always my favourite story and, with a good director, would be fucking awesome.
March 11, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST
While I'd love to see a new Hound, I can appreciate that producers are trying something new instead of cranking out yet another remake. And while the atmosphere of Hound is great, the narrative also poses some problems for a film adaptation...the biggest of which is Holmes' absence for a big chunk of the story.
March 11, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST
by Tin Snoman
As long as Adler isn't Holmes' overt love interest, I'm in. Sounds like they know what they're doing.
March 11, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST
Makes me curious to check out some old Holmes books. I'm a voracious reader but never picked up the Holmes stories.
March 11, 2009, 5:29 p.m. CST
by Mullah Omar
You sure this isn't BROKEBACK HOLMES?
March 11, 2009, 5:40 p.m. CST
Take one iconic character and a director whose style doesn't fit that character at all and you have a recipe for disaster. I should imagine this Holmes will have a son and will be stalking Irene Adler for most of the movie. [br] [br] Not sure what a set visit from you guys tells me either. I am starting to view this kind of thing as an act of desperation by movie makers to generate interest in their crappiest pictures.
March 11, 2009, 7:20 p.m. CST
Will your next film cameo be you and Drew bitch-slapping each other bloody? 'Cuz I'll buy tix for that right now.
March 11, 2009, 7:35 p.m. CST
FOR SHERLOCK HOMEBOY
March 11, 2009, 7:36 p.m. CST
WHERE IS THE FUCKIN EDIT BUTTON?!?!?!?!?!
March 11, 2009, 8:29 p.m. CST
by Grinning White Skull
I hope we all know it was William Goldman's script that created the dialog and situations that Newman and Redford set on fire...
March 11, 2009, 9:03 p.m. CST
by S-Mart shopper
AHHH...God love ya Harry!
March 11, 2009, 9:40 p.m. CST
March 11, 2009, 9:43 p.m. CST
by Player 1
Great interview, RDJ & JL sound like a couple of friends having fun together. I hope the movie is a success!
March 12, 2009, 2:33 a.m. CST
Seriously, this is the movie that I most anticipate in 2009. Just as long as there is going to be RDJ commentary on the DVD, I'll be happy...
March 12, 2009, 3:03 a.m. CST
Seriously, the guy comes across as being the guy you hope you'd be if you were famous, you know?
March 12, 2009, 4:33 a.m. CST
That interview was fantastic! See you tomorrow, sexy.
March 12, 2009, 5:39 a.m. CST
too mysterious or unexpected.From the start,u could tell what the whole mystery was about and who was the bad guy. <p>They were,lets say,mystery stories for kids,and if i am not wrong doyle indeed was writing them in a children magazine? <p>but on the other hand,agatha cristie had written some great mystery books,not that they didnt have their flaws,but at least u couldnt tell from the start what was going on or who has the baddie.
March 12, 2009, 6:32 a.m. CST
by Dr. Zempf
Alright, I'm an idiot and one that doesn't follow the internal AICN quarrels to boot. But somebody - ANYBODY - please explain to me, why Mori left AICN and why the guy is STILL sending in reports.
March 12, 2009, 6:41 a.m. CST
by Star Hump
I don't know why he moved to HitFix -- maybe to expand his horizons in the movie commentary game. The thing is, tho, he never said he was leaving AICN flat-out. He stated he'd be back now and again to post reviews and set reports, like he's done with Watchmen and now Sherlock Holmes.
March 12, 2009, 7:44 a.m. CST
March 12, 2009, 7:49 a.m. CST
It's always exciting to hear actors who are passionate and knowledgeable about their source material, and cinema itself. I was a bit surprised by Jude Law here. Kind of looking forward to seeing this movie, now.
March 12, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST
Over the course of 60 Holmes stories, Doyle unfolded his stories in different ways. Sometimes the villain was obvious, othertimes not so much. In Hound for instance, he sets up several possible culprits including Stapleton, Dr. Mortimer, Mr. Franklin, Laura Lyons and Barrymore the butler. And while Holmes had a strong youth audience, I don't think the Strand magazine which published most of the stories was geared primarily to kids.
March 12, 2009, 9:07 a.m. CST
They could have gone for something like Mills and Somerset instead, but Butch and Sundance is absolutley perfect for Holmes and Watson.<p>Outstanding interview, Mori. Thanks for posting it Harry. You both deserve cameos!
March 12, 2009, 9:51 a.m. CST
...need an intro by harry? we know who moriarty is, we know what the review is about. do we need a whimsy about thumb wars? imagine if the editor of a magazine wrote a blurb in front of every article that someone else wrote inside? reminds me of people that butt into conversations with very loosely related personal stories
March 12, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST
was never Holmes trying to create an equal. That much is clear from the books. Holmes was an artist in his way (heck his theatrical ability is frequently mentioned in the stories, makeup, acting, etc) and every artist needs an audience to appreciate their craft. Watson was Sherlock's audience. <p> But he was never at the same level intellectually as Holmes, and Holmes took delight in pointing that out, especially when Watson began to feel like he had some "modest ability" in criminology to rival Holmes'.
March 12, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST
this is some good stuff. I concur with SoylentMean, very interesting, a great example of behind-the-scenes. Looking forward to the next installment.
March 12, 2009, 10:40 a.m. CST
They couldn't have chosen better leads for the flick. They're both very talented indaviduals and will do Holmes justice.
March 12, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST
March 12, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST
Good interview. Downey seems so damn cool, thrilled and grateful.
March 12, 2009, 2:16 p.m. CST
by Arcadian Del Sol
How come Harry's set visits result in a single "HEY GUYS I SAW THEM KILL STUFF" article with 3 paragraphs, yet Mori comes back with 3 articles worth of interviews, comments, and inside details.
March 12, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST
Moriarty is a pussy.
March 12, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST
Stop guilting Harry into posting your reviews here
March 12, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST
Because Drew is better at writing, while Harry is better at emoting. That's pretty much it. Harry will give you a short visceral punch of emotion and enthusiasm, whereas Drew will lay it out with care. Not a crit on either side, not at all. Opposites that work well together.
March 12, 2009, 4:43 p.m. CST
March 13, 2009, 12:31 a.m. CST
I'm pumped for this film.
March 13, 2009, 1:55 a.m. CST
hope you got my full apology dude. Just want to say sorry again for attacking you like that, especially since I was completely mistaken about who you were. You were right about me making an ass of myself. The only thing I can say in my defence is that the grade a troll merchants like laserpants and Dannydick blood (or whatever his name is) have a way of bringing out the worst in a person. And yeah I know I was stupid for taking the bait and losing my cool...
March 13, 2009, 1:56 a.m. CST
Sherlock holmes fan? Just curious for the reason why tou are so stoked for this new take on Holmes. Have you read the script that leaked online?
March 13, 2009, 3:06 a.m. CST
regardless as to weather it infact has Sherlock in it or not, or if it is digmatically faithful to Alan Moores comic or not. The Hughes Bros really impressed me with that one. The mood and atmosphere they were able to achieve was quite effective, From Hell is criminally underrated as far I'm concerned. I really don't think Guy Richie is gonna be able to equal it, let alone even pull this thing of at all. I hope Richie does surprise everone with a truely great take on the Holmes character however, because I will be seeing this, so I hope it's good.
March 13, 2009, 3:10 a.m. CST
**EDIT FUNCTION PLEASE** (sorry 'bout that)
March 13, 2009, 3:24 a.m. CST
Lookin forward to seeing Jude and RDJ in this.
March 13, 2009, 3:50 a.m. CST
Could not agree with you more dude, from hell is the best modern Holmes movie ever made. I also have doubts wether Ritchie can pull something off as good as that. Unfortunatly, having read the script, im afraid it will be more like the modern Zorro movies than From hell im afraid. It basically has the same plot as Shanghai Knights, and is very much pg13 in tone. The mystery is also really obvious to anyone that has seen a mystery before. They are definatly aiming this at the most broad audiance as they can. Which i cant help but feel will seriously piss off your hardcore Holmes fans (especially those that are in love with the books).
March 13, 2009, 3:53 a.m. CST
as well as their dynamic. And it is an actually more faithful representation of the two characters. And for the record I do think RDJ will make a really cool Holmes, and I am sure he will present a really interesting take on the character
March 13, 2009, 9:50 a.m. CST
by Chris Wood
... can't wait to see those Camberwell Carrots. If this has whetted anyone's appetite for new takes on Holmes, "Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants of Death" is out now. Thrilling shit. http://tinyurl.com/d24r2z
March 13, 2009, 10:40 a.m. CST
No drugs in the movie, I'm afraid (at least there are none in the March 2008 draft of the script) though Holmes is seen at one point stretched out dead drunk and surrounded by empty bottles; that's one change I hope they <i>have</i> made in the subsequent rewrites. <br> <br> H <br> xxx
March 13, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST
That fucker EXUDES charisma...i felt like i was in the room while reading this. Great report!
March 13, 2009, 5:24 p.m. CST
I want a whole damn string of Sherlock Holmes movies. RDJ and JL are inspired casting. I've been a Holmes fan for 43 years (since I was 12) and really want a good Holmes story on screen. The BBC series, while lauded by many, was far too idiosyncratic for my tastes.
March 13, 2009, 10:02 p.m. CST
Thats his last name? For true?
March 14, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST
Jodet, which BBC series do you mean? There hasn't been a TV series since the one starring Peter Cushing and Nigel Stock back in the late sixties. There's been a very good radio series (still continuing, I think, with new stories) - is that the one you're thinking of?
March 14, 2009, 10:35 a.m. CST
Did you manage to see Strange days yet? I have seen some of the Russian Holmes and yeah you were really right, while there are some really weird aspects to it, its actually really good
March 14, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST
I bought a copy and it's on its way to me. Should be here Monday. I'm glad you liked the Russian H&W shows: the Watson is really good and the Holmes (once you get used to the occasional glasses!) excellent too. Overall I think it's refreshing to have a different slant on the stories and how to present them.
March 15, 2009, 12:42 a.m. CST
I'm a major fan of the original Sherlock Holmes stories. I'm very nervous about how this film will turn out, but after reading this interview, I am so relieved that Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law are taking liberties with the script by adding in dialogue directly from the original stories. Otherwise, that script has some painful and rather uninspired dialogue. It's good to know that the two lead actors clearly respect the source material and are focused on making the best movie that they possibly can, given the mediocre script that they have to work from.
March 17, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST
Strange Days turned out not to be for me, I'm afraid. I hated that frenetic opening sequence with its violence and it appalling dialogue, loathed the unbelievably bad performance of the guy selling the recordings, and fumed at being told that 1999 was the last year of the century, so after about five minutes I hit the stop switch. Maybe I'll try it again sometime, but I think I'm more likely to sell the DVD secondhand. <br> <br> But thanks for the recommendation; it's always interesting to try something I wouldn't have chosen for myself.
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