Bill Condon can always seeming count on Laura Linney. The Oscar and Tony nominated actress appears set to join the cast in Condon’s new film A Slight Trick of the Mind, a new take on Sherlock Holmes starring Ian McKellen. This marks the fourth collaboration between the acclaimed Academy Award winning writer/director (Gods & Monsters) following last fall’s The Fifth Estate, the Showtime series The Big C (which Condon directed the pilot and produced and Linney netted her fourth Emmy win for last fall) and the acclaimed 2004 biopic Kinsey (for which Linney earned her second of three Oscar nominations.)
A Slight Trick of the Mind stars McKellen (who earned an Oscar nomination for portraying famed Hollywood director James Whale in Condon’s Gods & Monsters) as an aging Holmes in the late 1940s and the relationship that builds between him and his housekeeper Mrs. Munro (to be played by Linney) and her young son. It marks yet another take on the iconic detective first introduced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. It follows a recent re-branding on the backs of the acclaimed BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the Guy Ritchie updates starring Robert Downey, Jr. and the currently broadcast modern CBS series Elementary starring Jonny Lee Miller. A Slight Trick of the Mind is based on the novel by Mitch Cullin and was written for the screen by Condon and Jeremy Hatcher (The Duchess.)
This will mark the first major screen appearance from Linney in quite some time– she appeared in the very small role in The Fifth Estate and since wrapping The Big C hasn’t appeared in starring role since the 2012 film Hyde Park on Hudson with Bill Murray. The film also marks a return perhaps of sorts from Condon, who has weaved in career a cross of bigger, studio films with smaller, more sharper independent projects of late. He previously directed the final installments of the Twilight films and the 2006 musical hit Dreamgirls, but made a name for himself with projects like Gods & Monsters and Kinsey. There’s no word yet as when production may be slated to begin and distribution is still be set up. FilmNation is providing assistance in international sales, and perhaps a sale for A Slight Trick of the Mind will occur at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival.