Sir Ian McKellen, one of the most highly regarded actors working today, as well as the recipient of over 60 international awards in both theater and film, will be the next Sherlock Holmes in the newest re-interpretation of the English detective, entitled Mr. Holmes.
The crime drama’s official teaser trailer was released today, and can be seen below.
With lavish, sweeping strokes across the English countryside, Mr. Holmes weaves the tale of an aged, retired Sherlock on the precipice of memory loss. Based on the novel by Mitch Cullin, the story takes place in 1947 and tells of the final great mystery of Holmes’ career, and his continuing struggle to solve it 50 years later.
Originally titled A Slight Trick of the Mind, the movie is directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Gods and Monsters), who reunites with McKellen (The Hobbit, X-Men) after a 17 year hiatus; their last film together was Gods and Monsters (1998), earning them Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay, respectively.
McKellen sent out a tweet about his latest role last July, along with an on-set photo:
— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) July 9, 2014
The Sherlock-mania surrounding the literary legend seems to have spiked again within the past decade, with BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’s Elementary covering the television circuit, and Robert Downey Jr.’s action-packed portrayal of the detective sprinkling the silver screen since 2009 (a third installment of the movie franchise is rumored to be starting production soon).
While discussing the legacy of Sherlock Holmes in an interview with Museum of London, McKellen describes Holmes as “an intriguing character who is never actually resolved,” but also notes the repetition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic imagery:
It’s the deerstalker, it’s the spy glasses, the pipe. They all refer back to the original because the original is an easy concept to get hold of. [As if] we wouldn’t all appreciate the writer’s different view and adaptation.
Mr. Holmes presents a unique look into the detective’s elderly years, approaching the character’s prime from a nostalgic perspective and exploring his weakening memory without the trusted Watson by his side. The film also introduces new characters, such as his housekeeper Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney, The Fifth Estate) and her fiercely curious son Roger (Milo Parker), who assists Holmes in his quest to find closure.
McKellen’s next large movie project, X-Men: Apocalypse, is in its beginning stages, and is due in theaters in 2016. Meanwhile, Condon’s next endeavor is Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson, and Linney just wrapped production on the upcoming film Genius with Jude Law.
Mr. Holmes will premiere in UK theaters this summer, though a U.S. release date has not been announced.