By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist January 14, 2011 at 2:09AM
Just over a year on, and we're still a little stunned by how entertaining Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" turned out to be. Seemingly displaying the reboot mentality that's been Hollywood's curse the last few years, and coming from a director who hadn't turned out anything watchable in a decade, the film has its share of problems (principally the redundancy of Rachel McAdams' character and a sub-par final set piece), but the chemistry of its leads, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, carried the picture, and ensured it was one of the more quietly enjoyable tentpoles in recent memory.
But with "Sherlock," the Steven Moffat/Mark Gatiss contemporary take on the character for the BBC proving a surprise hit critically and commercially on both sides of the Atlantic, the bar's been raised for the upcoming sequel, but with some promising new additions to the cast joining the original team, we're optimistic that the follow-up can continue the success, and a set visit at Hero Complex has continued the good vibes.
The site has premiered a new image from the film, showing Holmes and Watson taking tea together, and visited the set in Didcot, England, where they manage to get a few new tidbits from the cast and crew. Firstly, the gypsy woman to be played by "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" star Noomi Rapace, making her Hollywood debut, now has a name -- Sim -- while the other new additions are also teased, with producer Susan Downey describing Mycroft Holmes, the detective's brother, who'll be played by Stephen Fry, as "stranger and perhaps even more brilliant" than Sherlock, while it's hinted that Professor Moriarty, who's being embodied by "Mad Men" star Jared Harris, is 'the world's first supervillain.
The plot involves Holmes and Watson pursuing Moriarty to Europe, while Watson tries to keep his relationship with Mary Morstan (Kelly Reilly) on track. The action seems to be still out in full-force, with the article describing a bullet-heavy set piece in a train depot, with Watson firing a Gatling Gun, although Law revealed in the current issue of Empire magazine (not online, page 80) that the occult overtones of the original film are absent this time around: "The beautiful thing about the books is that if you looked at all of them, you could divide them into categories. There were some that dealt with the occult, but this movie has been influenced by the ones that deal with out-and-out dastardly acts and double-crossing."
Downey Jr, who toplined a disappointing sequel in 2010 in the shape of "Iron Man 2," seems hopeful that this one will be different, telling Hero Complex "Look, I've done a sequel or two now -- I feel like I should be in a recovery group for sequel-itis survivors. First, there is a bit of inflation. Then, you say, 'We have to work harder.' Then you work harder, but not smarter." Of course, it'll all depend on the script, which this time out is from "Paper Man" and "Justice League: Mortal" writers The Mulroneys. The sequel doesn't yet have an official title, but it'll hit theaters on December 16th this year, and we'll find out then if it's able to match the original.