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Benedict Cumberbatch Feels "Cynical" About U.S. Sherlock 'Elementary,' Would've Preferred If Jonny Lee Miller Didn't Do It

The Playlist By Joe Cunningham | The Playlist August 31, 2012 at 9:55AM

“Sherlock” will go back in front of cameras again next January with an eye on airing later in 2013, but before we get a chance to see Benedict Cumberbatch again as the super sleuth, we’ll be more than familiar with another take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation. “Elementary,” starring Jonny Lee Miller as a modern day (but New York-based) Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson, will debut with the first of its 13 episodes on CBS on September 27th. The relationship between the two projects is not the best as we documented when reporting on Miller’s casting earlier this year.
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Elementary Benedict Cumberbatch

Sherlock” will go back in front of cameras again next January with an eye on airing later in 2013, but before we get a chance to see Benedict Cumberbatch again as the super sleuth, we’ll be more than familiar with another take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation. “Elementary,” starring Jonny Lee Miller as a modern day (but New York-based) Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson, will debut with the first of its 13 episodes on CBS on September 27th. The relationship between the two projects is not the best as we documented when reporting on Miller’s casting earlier this year.

Creator Stephan Moffat and producer Sue Vertue have already weighed in on the project, and Benedict Cumberbatch (who is awfully fond of speaking out about things) has finally added his two cents in an interview with U.K. magazine Shortlist. Here’s what he had to say about "Elementary" and the casting of his “Frankenstein” co-star (in which the pair swapped roles each night) in particular: “Jonny [Lee Miller] asked me if I was all right with him doing it. I said, ‘What are the similarities?’ And he went, ‘Well it’s modern…’ I went, ‘Oh.’ Then he said, ‘Lucy Liu’s going to play Joan Watson…’ And I went, ‘Oh.’ I got hold of the pilot script just to check it out. I don’t know, we’ll see. I think there’s room for us both to coexist. I don’t feel threatened by it and I wish him the best, which is as diplomatic as I can be."

“It’s very odd. I did say, ‘Well, I’d prefer you didn’t do it but you’ve got a kid to feed, a nice house in LA and a wife to keep in good clothes,’ " he continued. "When you get used to a certain standard of living and they waft a pay check at you, what are you going to do? I think Jonny was like, ‘Mate, I’ve got the f***ing mountain to climb here [to reach the acclaim of 'Sherlock'], you’ve got nothing to fear.’ I wish him the best of luck, but I’m a bit cynical about why they’ve chosen to do it and why they cast him.”

So basically, Benny’s a bit pissed off, but not with his mate Jonny – just with CBS and their cash-in project. We’re sure the CBS show will be able to co-exist with the BBC version, and who knows, it could actually be really good. The mistrust probably stems from the way that CBS went about developing the show, and so in that regard we can completely understand the scepticism with which those involved with “Sherlock” are viewing “Elementary.” But whatever happens, ultimately it’s unlikely to have much impact on the U.K. show. Cumberbatch is seeing his career go from strength to strength right now, Moffat has Sherlock and “Doctor Who” on the go, making him one of the most successful men in the U.K. television industry, and the show itself has a huge group of passionate/borderline psychotic fans who love the show and Cumberbatch unconditionally. See you in the comments section guys.

This article is related to: Television, TV News, Benedict Cumberbatch


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