SHERLOCK HOLMES 2: ΤΟ ΠΑΙΧΝΙΔΙ ΤΩΝ ΣΚΙΩΝ |
SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS
του Γκάι Ρίτσι
με τους Ρόμπερτ Ντάουνι Τζούνιορ, Τζουντ Λο
Ο Σέρλοκ Χολμς ανέκαθεν ήταν ο εξυπνότερος άνθρωπος στον χώρο... μέχρι τώρα. Κι αυτό γιατί κυκλοφορεί ελεύθερος ένας νέος δαιμόνιος εγκληματικός εγκέφαλος – ο καθηγητής Μοριάρτι (Τζάρεντ Χάρις) – ο οποίος εκτός του ότι συναγωνίζεται επάξια τον Χολμς σε πνευματικό επίπεδο, διαθέτει μια εξαιρετικά σατανική πλευρά και απουσία συνείδησης, που του δίνει το πλεονέκτημα έναντι του πασίγνωστου ντετέκτιβ.
Η Βαθμολογία μου:
Ο Σέρλοκ Χολμς ...σούπερ ήρωας!
Το νέο φραντσάιζ μας προέκυψε από ...χαβαλέ, "κινηματογραφική αδεία"... Όπως το Χόλιγουντ συνειδητά παραποιεί την ελληνική μυθολογία στη υπηρεσία του θεάματος, κατά τον ίδιο τρόπο ο νέος Σέρλοκ Χολμς φέρει τα χαρακτηριστικά ενός χαρισματικού: μάγου, μέντιουμ, επτάψυχου άσου στις πολεμικές τέχνες και στην σκοποβολή, ευφυέστατου ντετέκτιβ ο οποίος προκειμένου να λύσει τους γρίφους χρησιμοποιεί πέραν του υπερανεπτυγμένου και οξύνοου πνεύματος κάθε όπλο που βρίσκουμε στους γνωστούς κόμικ υπερήρωες της Δύσης! Προσθέστε και κάποια στοιχεία χαρακτήρα από τον πολυμήχανο Οδυσσέα της ελληνικής μυθολογίας, και έχετε έναν υβριδικό ήρωα: Σέρλοκ Χολμς, κατά Γκάι Ρίτσι.
Στα θετικά της ταινίας η έξοχη μουσική επένδυση, τα κοστούμια και σκηνικά. Η αναπαράσταση της ατμόσφαιρας πείθει σε αντίθεση με τους αντιρεαλιστικούς χαρακτήρες ενώ οι σκηνές του χορού βαλς και της όπερας (υπό τον συμβολικό Ντον Τζιοβάνι) μπαίνουν επάξια στα highlights. Οι γοτθικοί, είρωνες χαρακτήρες θαρρείς πως έχουν ζωντανέψει από κάποιο κόμικ εποχής. Ως εκ τούτου υπάρχουν άφθονοι αναχρονισμοί και γκουφ. Όμως, το πρώτιστο στις ταινίες του Γκάι Ρίτσι είναι η ακόρεστη δίψα για fun και ανώδυνη διασκέδαση. Όλα τα σκηνοθετικά κόλπα που τον καθιέρωσαν δε λείπουν με ιδιαίτερη εμμονή στην χρήση του slow motion στις σκηνές action και τις εξεζητημένες υπερβολές. Το στόρι είναι μάλλον απογοητευτικό και οι εκπλήξεις που κρύβει, είναι αρκετά προβλέψιμες, όταν ο θεατής γνωρίσει από πριν, την πλευρά των χαρακτήρων (καλοί εναντίον κακών, κ.ο.κ). Οι κυνικοί διάλογοι, από την άλλη, είναι καλογραμμένοι , εύστοχοι και ελάχιστα περιγραφικοί. Κυριαρχεί το μαύρο χιούμορ, άλλωστε, που είναι αρκετά απαιτητικό και εξαντλητικό
για την αφήγηση.
Η Βαθμολογία μου:
Ποιος "Superman" και ποιος "Spider-man"; Here is...Sherlock!
Ομολογουμένως, αυτό το φιλμ αποτελεί ένα από τα χειρότερα σίκουελς κινηματογραφικών ταινιών της τελευταίας πενταετίας. Με τη μόνη διαφορά, ότι σε αυτή την περίπτωση, ούτε η πρώτη ταινία ήταν καλή, μετριότατη θα την χαρακτήριζε κανείς. Είναι αναμφισβήτητο και προφανές ότι οι παραγωγοί, αλλά και οι συντελεστές αυτής της ταινίας έχουν επενδύσει ΜΟΝΟ στην εμπορική επιτυχία της και στην αύξηση των προσωπικών τους εσόδων.Δεν εξηγείται αλλιώς. Η κινηματογραφική αυτή απόπειρα διασκευής του θρυλικού «Σέρλοκ» «έπεσε στο κενό», αφού δεν έχει καμία σχέση με παλαιότερες ταινίες με πρωταγωνιστή το θρυλικό ντετέκτιβ. Εδώ, ο Σέρλοκ δεν παρουσιάζεται ως ο κλασικός, πανέξυπνος, πονηρός και ιδιόρρυθμος ντετέκτιβ που όλοι γνωρίζουμε. Αντίθετα, εύκολα, κανείς μπορεί να τον μπερδέψει με ήρωα της… “Marvel”, αφού πληροί όλες τις απαραίτητες προϋποθέσεις για να σώσει τον κόσμο από τους «κακούς». Η σκηνοθεσία με άριστα το 10 θα έπαιρνε, σίγουρα, -10, αφού είναι ό,τι χειρότερο έχουμε δει τα τελευταία χρόνια από σκηνοθετική άποψη. Ο «μεταλλαγμένος» Χολμς κάνει συνεχώς γκάφες, προσεγγίζει σε πολλές σκηνές τη γελοιότητα και σε τίποτα δεν θυμίζει τον αγαπημένο μας ντετέκτιβ. Τα οπτικό-ακουστικά εφέ συμβάλλουν στην προβολή του Σέρλοκ ως ήρωα. Οι ουκ ολίγες σκηνές σε slow motion, η υπερβολικά γρήγορη εξέλιξη της πλοκής, τα αρκετά σκηνοθετικά λάθη και κενά, η ανιαρή και βαρετή πλοκή, αλλά και οι καθόλου πειστικές (παραδόξως) ερμηνείες των Ντάουνι Τζούνιορ και Λο καθιστούν την ταινία μία από τις χειρότερες του 2011.
του Παντελή Αναστασόπουλου Facebook
Robert Downey Jr. ... Sherlock Holmes
Rachel McAdams ... Irene Adler
Jude Law ... Dr. John Watson
Jared Harris ... Professor Moriaty
Stephen Fry ... Mycroft Holmes
Kelly Reilly ... Mary Morstan
Geraldine James ... Mrs. Hudson
William Houston ... Clarky
Arthur Conan Doyle
Village Films (Ελλάδα)
Warner Bros. Pictures
ΕΓΧΡΩΜΗ 2.35 : 1
ΔΡΑΣΗΣ, ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΟΥ, ΠΕΡΙΠΕΤΕΙΑ, ΘΡΙΛΕΡ, ΑΣΤΥΝΟΜΙΚΗ
SDDS / DTS / Dolby Digital
Αγγλία, Γαλλία, Ελβετία
Sherlock Holmes 2
Ireland:12A / Canada:PG (Ontario) / Malaysia:PG-13 / Sweden:15 / Singapore:PG13 / South Korea:15 / USA:PG-13 (certificate #47221)
$68,6 (παγκοσμίως έως 21/12/2011)
Ο Γκάι Ρίτσι επιστρέφει στην καρέκλα του σκηνοθέτη, ενώ δίπλα στους δυο ηθοποιούς θα δούμε τους Τζάρεντ Χάρις (τηλεοπτική σειρά “Mad Men”, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) και την Σουηδέζα ηθοποιό Νούμι Ράπας, στον πρώτο της αγγλόφωνο ρόλο («The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo»).
Οι Ρόμπερτ Ντάουνι Τζ. και Τζουντ Λο επιστρέφουν στους ρόλους του Σέρλοκ Χολμς και του δαιμόνιου συνεργάτη του, δρα Γουότσον, στην ταινία "Sherlock Holmes 2: Το Παιχνίδι των Σκιών."
Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as the world's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and Jude Law returns as his formidable colleague, Dr. Watson, in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows." Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room...until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large--Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris)--and not only is he Holmes' intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder--a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by one Professor Moriarty. Mixing business with pleasure, Holmes tracks the clues to an underground gentlemen's club, where he and his brother, Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry) are toasting Dr. Watson on his last night of bachelorhood. It is there that Holmes encounters Sim (Noomi Rapace), a Gypsy fortune teller, who sees more than she is telling and whose unwitting involvement in the prince's murder makes her the killer's next target. Holmes barely manages to save her life and, in return, she reluctantly agrees to help him. The investigation becomes ever more dangerous as it leads Holmes, Watson and Sim across the continent, from England to France to Germany and finally to Switzerland. But the cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead as he spins a web of death and destruction--all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history. Filmmaker Guy Ritchie returns to direct "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," the follow-up to the smash hit "Sherlock Holmes." The sequel also reunites producers Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey and Dan Lin. Bruce Berman serves as executive producer, with Steve Clark-Hall co-producing. Jared Harris (TV's "Mad Men," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") joins the cast as the notorious Professor Moriarty. Also joining the cast, in her first English-speaking role, is Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who gained international attention in the Swedish film "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." Stephen Fry ("Alice in Wonderland," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire") plays Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's older brother. Additional cast members returning from the first film include Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade; Kelly Reilly as Watson's bride, Mary Morstan; and Geraldine James as Holmes's long-suffering landlady, Mrs. Hudson. "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" is written by Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were created by the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and appear in stories and novels by him.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Those two tantalizing words at the close of 2009’s “Sherlock Holmes” promised audiences that more adventures lie ahead. Now “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” fulfills that promise, bringing the legendary detective back to the big screen in a new action-packed mystery that reunites the stars and filmmakers behind that worldwide hit.
Director Guy Ritchie says, “I was very keen to return to Sherlock Holmes’ world because the experience of making the first movie was so positive, both personally and creatively. There were a myriad of story possibilities in revisiting this character because he has so many interesting facets. His idiosyncrasies almost transcend description, so I wanted the opportunity to explore that more, while giving audiences something they hadn’t seen.”
Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” had redefined Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic character for a new generation, with Robert Downey Jr. creating his own unique incarnation of the role, alongside Jude Law as Holmes’ friend, partner, and occasional foil, Dr. John Watson.
Producer Joel Silver states, “There was a kind of magic that came out of the dynamic between Robert and Jude as Holmes and Watson, and this film gave us a chance to take that up a notch. In the first movie, we had to give audiences the time to get to know the foibles of the characters. Coming into this movie, we had already laid the foundation, so we could launch right into the action, which is bigger, funnier and more explosive in every sense of the word.”
“First and foremost,” Robert Downey Jr. adds, “we wanted to maintain the visceral tone that was part of Guy’s original vision, while presenting Holmes with an even more difficult case, one that would challenge his considerable skills.”
That challenge arises out of the threat from a redoubtable adversary, one whose name is familiar to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the Sherlock Holmes canon: Professor James Moriarty.
“We needed a mystery that raises the bar for Holmes, so we pitted him against his most famous foe,” notes producer Susan Downey. “At the end of the last film, Sherlock fleetingly learned of Moriarty from Irene Adler. In the time elapsed, he has become increasingly obsessed with what Moriarty is up to and has only begun to realize the breadth of his plan.”
Producer Lionel Wigram comments, “Moriarty is the greatest criminal mastermind in the world. He is a genius—albeit a mad genius—but because he is so brilliant, Holmes may have met his match.”
Ritchie emphasizes, “Because they are intellectual equals to a degree, there is the sense that this is a game that is stimulating to them both. In this way, they actually need each other, and that idea is authentic to the books. Holmes needs Moriarty as much as Moriarty needs Holmes.”
To write the screenplay, the producers enlisted husband-and-wife writing team Kieran and Michele Mulroney, with the latter being exceptionally well-versed in the source material. She offers, “Growing up in England, I remember reading the books and being awed by the weird and wonderful way Holmes’ mind worked. It was a joy to revisit the original stories and still marvel at the inventiveness and intricacies of Arthur Conan Doyle’s mysteries.”
In fact, true Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts will notice that the filmmakers paid homage to the author by incorporating some of Conan Doyle’s language in the dialogue.
The screenwriters also felt a responsibility to do justice to the story’s villain, as well as its heroes. “We knew that whatever dire scheme Moriarty had up his sleeve, it had to feel insurmountable,” Kieran Mulroney confirms. “The stakes needed to be proportionate to the professor’s appetite for evil, which is obviously huge. Our goal was to push Holmes and Watson to their limits in pursuit of this man…to test their relationship even more than in the last film.”
“I was thrilled that the connection between Holmes and Watson, as we had developed it, was still very much the heart and soul of the story,” says Jude Law, who returns in the role of Watson.
Producer Dan Lin, who had worked with the Mulroneys before, observes, “Kieran and Michele’s script explores the evolution of Holmes and Watson’s relationship after the first movie—with Sherlock ready for the next case, and Watson engaged to Mary and planning to settle down and step away from the life of a private detective. What does this mean for their future? And how will the world survive without them, especially with Sherlock’s most formidable nemesis, Professor Moriarty, on the loose?”
Apart from Moriarty, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” introduces contemporary film audiences to another character well known to readers of the original stories—Sherlock’s older and far more urbane brother, Mycroft Holmes, played by Stephen Fry. Rachel McAdams’ Irene Adler is also back to tempt and torment Sherlock, while a new woman has entered the fray: a Gypsy named Sim, played by Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who could provide the link to the final piece of the puzzle, completing the picture of Moriarty’s sinister plot.
As the vastness of Moriarty’s conspiracy unfolds, it broadens the scope of the action beyond the confines of London, to France, Germany and on to Switzerland. Ritchie affirms, “Our narrative enabled us to spread our wings across Europe to expand the topography and tapestry of the story.”
Wigram says, “It also allowed us to add a different flavor to the mix that dovetails nicely into what was happening at the end of the 19th century, politically, economically and especially in terms of industry. It was the beginning of the modern age, where we see the seeds of the military-industrial complex, with bigger and more powerful weapons and more efficient warfare.”
With a changing world on the brink, there is danger afoot. For someone who knows how to stir the pot, however, there is also tremendous opportunity to grasp untold wealth and power. Only Sherlock Holmes has deduced that Professor James Moriarty is the one stoking the fire…and it is only a matter of time before everything boils over.
“It is our last adventure, Watson. I intend to make the most of it.”
The titular character created by Robert Downey Jr. in “Sherlock Holmes” had defied convention. Gone were the once-emblematic deerstalker hat, curved pipe and posh British decorum, replaced by a streetwise, bare-knuckled brawler, whose physical prowess was equal to his superlative mind and preternatural powers of perception.
Ritchie says, “One of the most important things about the first movie was to get away from the somewhat dustier, if you will, impression of the character that I think many people were expecting. In keeping with Conan Doyle’s original creation, we wanted to access the physicality of Holmes while conveying his intelligence and wit, and Robert brought all that and more to the equation. There were a lot of little nuances going on that added so much to the role. I find it impossible now to imagine anyone else as Sherlock Holmes.”
Downey reciprocates, “I love working with Guy; it’s such a collaborative process and he has a terrific sense of humor that really comes into play here. On this film, there was an element of rediscovering Sherlock Holmes all over again. We wanted to maintain that sense of fun but with even more gravitas.”
“Robert knew how to get inside Sherlock Holmes’ head—to make him funny and eccentric and yet absolutely believable as the most renowned detective of all time. It was fantastic to watch,” Silver remarks.
In the time that has elapsed since the end of the first film, Holmes has been bent on a singular mission, triggered by the revelation that, while he had taken down the evil Lord Blackwood, he had somehow missed an even greater threat. Shrouded in secrecy, Professor Moriarty had been patiently lying in wait to capitalize on Blackwood’s handiwork.
Downey reveals, “Months later, we see the aftereffects of Holmes having been consumed with Moriarty, to the point that he’s clearly kind of ‘nutting up.’ He’s focused on him to the exclusion of everything else, including, quite possibly, his own sanity,” the actor smiles.
That is the state in which Dr. Watson discovers his old friend when he returns to Baker Street on the eve of his wedding to Mary. Jude Law notes, “Watson arrives looking forward to the stag party that his best man was supposed to arrange. Instead, he finds he has reason to be concerned with Holmes’ obsessive behavior regarding Professor Moriarty. I don’t think he doubts that Holmes is right, and there’s still a bit of the old soldier in Watson who feels a responsibility to see justice done. But he does suspect it will result in the dilemma he always faces: a secure life with his wife or the thrill of the chase. He undoubtedly has great times when he’s on a case with Holmes and wants to help his friend out of the scrapes he gets himself into, so it’s a constant struggle for the poor chap.”
Ritchie suggests, “We’d all love to have the genius of Sherlock Holmes, although we’re much more likely to empathize with Watson. Being a doctor, he is an intellectual in his own right, but to a degree, Watson is your every man who is enticed by a life of action and Holmes is his window of opportunity to that life. It makes for a perfect partnership, and that’s the engine that drives these stories.”
The connection between Holmes and Watson was reflected in the off-screen friendship between the two actors playing them. Downey attests, “I feel about Jude the way Sherlock feels about John: I love the guy like a brother. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.”
“Developing the interaction between Holmes and Watson was one of the most rewarding parts of the first film, and from the get-go, Robert and I slipped right back into it,” Law recalls. “We benefited this time from the fact that we really knew the characters, having laid the bedrock of their relationship in the first film, so we could trust our instincts and even push it a little further.”
Michele Mulroney says that the actors’ familiarity with their characters made their input vital. “Robert and Jude live and breathe these two characters and understand exactly what makes them tick. There’s no getting dialogue past them if they don’t think it’s spot on. It was invaluable having them as the gatekeepers of Holmes’ and Watson’s voices.”
“Robert and Jude are extremely talented actors who love what they do, and they are also good mates,” adds Ritchie. “Having those ingredients brought a great energy to the set and made all our jobs much easier.”
“This faceless man with whom you find yourself in business
is no ordinary criminal. He’s the Napoleon of crime.”
As it turns out, Watson has no option whether or not to rejoin Holmes. His choice is taken away from him by Moriarty, who targets the good doctor and his beloved Mary as collateral damage in his battle with the detective.
Jared Harris takes on the role of the man he describes as “arguably the first uber-villain in modern literature, which was quite daunting. He has to operate on a level that justifies Sherlock Holmes’ high opinion of him in terms of the magnitude of the threat he represents. You have to believe he is as smart as Holmes—perhaps smarter—like a grandmaster in chess who is able to think several moves ahead of his opponent. But the fact is he’s a sick sociopath…which made him a lot of fun to play,” he laughs.
In casting one of the most malevolent characters ever imagined, the filmmakers had to consider the fact that the world perceived Moriarty as a brilliant but benign professor of mathematics, who was admired rather than feared. Ritchie explains, “We wanted to stick to the idea that Conan Doyle intended him to be the least likely villain you can imagine. It was the size of his ambitions that set him apart. Jared was the right man for the job.”
Wigram affirms, “Jared plays Moriarty with a wonderful combination of charm and menace. He can appear very demure and kind, but there’s also a mad glint in his eye, so he conveys the different sides of Moriarty: respected university professor and friend to the rich and powerful, and the diabolical mastermind of a massive criminal enterprise, who sees how industrialization is changing the landscape and is exploiting it to his own ends in a way no one else would fathom. That’s his genius.”
“Only Holmes comprehends the scale and complexity of Moriarty’s plans,” says Ritchie. “It’s up to him to impart that to Watson and, through him, the audience.”
Holmes himself might not have discerned Moriarty’s scheme until it was too late were it not for Irene Adler, who, it was revealed in “Sherlock Holmes,” has been in the professor’s employ. She divulged his identity to Sherlock, ironically warning the detective not to underestimate him even as she placed herself directly between these two powerful adversaries on a collision course.
Susan Downey comments, “Irene is the only woman that’s ever bested Holmes, the only one who gets under his skin. They have a very combustible relationship, of which Moriarty is well aware, and that proves dangerous to them both.”
Reprising her role as the calculating femme fatale, Rachel McAdams says, “Irene’s relationship with Sherlock can be quite playful—a cat and mouse game of who is going to admit their true feelings first—but there’s also drama and intrigue because you never know what she has up her sleeve. It was fun working with Guy and Robert to find just the right pitch of their love/hate relationship…like a well-choreographed dance.”
Acting as a courier for Moriarty, Irene inadvertently provides Sherlock with another clue: a letter to a mysterious Gypsy fortune teller named Sim, who becomes what Downey calls “the lynchpin to unraveling the case.”
The role of Sim marks the first English-speaking part for Noomi Rapace, who came to the filmmakers’ attention in the 2009 Swedish film “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Ritchie confirms, “We were all big fans of hers, and when we met with her, she was already full of ideas for the character. I loved working with Noomi because she’s ballsy and smart and totally committed—all qualities we were looking for in Sim.”
Rapace says that the nomadic lifestyle of a Gypsy and the attitudes of the time have combined to make Sim tough. “She’s forever on the move and wherever she goes, she’s not treated very well, so she’s had to learn to defend herself. Her people are used to surviving under extreme circumstances and living on the edge, usually in places where they’re not welcome. Sim has seen the darker side of humanity and, in that way, she has something in common with Holmes.”
The actress might also have something in common with her character. “My father was a Flamenco singer from Spain, and I was told he had Gypsy blood in him,” she offers. “I’m not sure if it’s really true or not, but I’ve always had an interest in Gypsy culture and playing Sim gave me a fantastic opportunity to delve into that—the way they live and love and their strong sense of family and loyalty. Guy gave me a lot of freedom to develop her character, which I appreciated.”
“Noomi was incredible…not only a wonderful actress but a lovely person,” Silver says. “She’s in most of the movie alongside Robert and Jude and really had to hold her own with them, and she was amazing.”
The cryptic letter that drew Sherlock Holmes to Sim was from her brother, Rene. Years earlier, Sim and Rene had joined a group of anarchists called the Lapin Vert. When the group became too extreme, Sim and her brother abandoned the cause, but for reasons unknown Rene made his way back and wound up as a pawn in Moriarty’s deadly game. Sim agrees to help Holmes and Watson if they will save her brother.
Holmes first seeks out Sim at a gentlemen’s club, where he has brought Watson and his own brother, Mycroft Holmes, under the pretense of throwing Watson’s stag party.
Mycroft Holmes, who holds an unspecified but apparently high-level post in the British government, is played by popular British actor and comedian Stephen Fry. He relates, “Sherlock Holmes was one of my first and most passionate attachments in literature. I joined the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and was, I believe, its youngest member at the time. When I got the call about Mycroft, I was thrilled; I couldn’t have jumped further, faster or higher.
“The marvelous thing about Sherlock Holmes,” Fry continues, “is he has particular qualities that endure as each generation rediscovers him. When I saw the first ‘Sherlock Holmes’ that Guy made with Robert and Jude, I thought, ‘This is the one for our time.’ It had a mixture of action and humor and everything that exemplifies the best incarnations of the character. It was a joy to work with them on this film. Guy is an amazing director—smart as a whip, constantly curious, knows what he wants, and just how to make the atmosphere on the set fun.”
“Stephen Fry is referred to in England as a national treasure, and if you spend a little time with him, you understand why,” Susan Downey states. “He is not only an extraordinary actor, he is also one of the brightest, most knowledgeable, and most articulate people I’ve ever met. He’s a walking encyclopedia. More often than not, if we had a question, be it about history or Holmes, we’d turn to Stephen because we could always count on his answers to be accurate.”
A true aficionado, Fry came to the role of Mycroft with an utter grasp of all his quirks. “I love the idea that Sherlock Holmes has a brother who is smarter than he, but is completely lazy and disinterested in people. Mycroft is a total misanthrope. He co-founded a club, called the Diogenes Club, where no talking is allowed. When we see him with Sherlock, they immediately fall into trying to outdo each other, and there is poor Watson stuck in the middle of these two super brains having a deduce-a-thon,” he laughs.
Dr. Watson’s new bride, Mary, is stunned and somewhat horrified to learn there is another Holmes when she is rather unceremoniously deposited into Mycroft’s care after Sherlock hijacks her honeymoon.
Reprising the role of Mary Morstan, now Mrs. Watson, is Kelly Reilly, who, Susan Downey calls “wildly talented.” She adds, “We were so pleased that we get to see more of Mary in this film in both action and comedy moments, which gave us an opportunity to showcase the different dimensions of Kelly as an actress and Mary as a character.”
Of her character, Reilly remarks, “Mary knows John loves her, but she also knows he’s torn between a quiet life with her and a life of adventure with Sherlock Holmes. And I believe she enjoys his exploits more than she’s willing to admit.”
The main cast of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” also includes Paul Anderson as Moriarty’s right-hand man, Colonel Sebastian Moran, reputed to be the best sharpshooter in Europe, and Thierry Neuvic as Claude Ravache, the leader of the Lapin Vert, who makes the mistake of allying himself with Moriarty, with tragic consequences.
“My dear fellow, if you could be bothered to see this
through to the end, I shall never again ask you to assist me.”
Holmes has already been on Moriarty’s trail for some time when he is reunited with Dr. Watson. In celebration of his last night of bachelorhood, Watson arrives at 221B Baker Street, the exterior of which was constructed at Leavesden Studios. Watson is expecting the traditional stag party, but he should have known that tradition is not his friend’s strong suit. Instead the door opens upon a literal urban jungle—the living room afforested with plants and trees and inhabited by a menagerie of exotic animals.
The eruption of flora and fauna that has taken over the Baker Street apartment was created by production designer Sarah Greenwood and her team on a stage at Elstree Studios. She says, “The great thing was that we could put any variety of plant in there because Holmes has imported them from all over to test assorted poisons and medicinal formulas. Still, there was an aesthetic to it, although Holmes doesn’t do anything for aesthetic reasons; everything has to serve a purpose.”
The dense jungle was layered over the existing clutter of furniture, books, papers, experiments and other paraphernalia, to the point where “you wouldn’t have thought you could get another thing in there,” Greenwood attests. “We started to wonder how they were going to manage to get a camera in there to shoot, but somehow they did.”
Hidden amongst the foliage, Holmes is indiscernible, as he is suited head to toe in a camouflage of his own design. Costume designer Jenny Beavan notes, “Sherlock wears more disguises in this film, which was challenging but fun. Apart from that, we mainly stayed with the idea that Holmes’ wardrobe is a rather eclectic mix of things that don’t always fit perfectly. In contrast, Watson always dresses neatly, befitting a former military man. Even as a civilian, his taste echoes his old uniform.”
Holmes has also appropriated Watson’s old office, transforming the space into a convoluted, low-tech tracking system—the physical manifestation of his obsession with Moriarty—following the progress of Moriarty’s plot. Red strings crisscross from newspaper headlines to maps to other assorted clues, forming a complex web of conspiracy and murder…with every strand weaving back to the professor.
Leaving the apartment, Holmes and Watson travel in style, with Watson at the wheel of one of the first horseless carriages. Researched and designed by Greenwood, the automobile was built by the special effects team, led by Mark Holt.
Putting her stamp on another popular mode of transportation of the times, Greenwood designed an opulent Victorian-era train car, where the newly married Watsons planned to begin their honeymoon, unaware that their plans are about to be derailed.
Greenwood relates, “One of the things that we only touched on in the previous film and wanted to expand on was the burgeoning of industry, which was affecting every echelon of society. The entire world was on the cusp of huge change.”
Nearing the end of the 19th century, oil lamps were rapidly giving way to electric lights and the appearance of some of those early lighting fixtures was unexpectedly useful to cinematographer Philippe Rousselot. He explains, “They used to have these giant arc lights to illuminate the city and they actually resemble the big lights we use in cinema today. So we didn’t have to hide all of our lighting while still being historically accurate, which can be very efficient when you’re setting up a shot.”
As they did in “Sherlock Holmes,” Rousselot and Guy Ritchie utilized a high-speed digital camera called the Phantom, which enabled the director to change the pace of the action in varying ways. Ritchie used the Phantom to create what was dubbed “Holmes-o-vision,” revealing Holmes’ split-second mental calculations of what are about to be physical altercations.
Nevertheless, Ritchie clarifies, “I never want to repeat myself, so there’s a variation to the Holmes-o-vision in this film. This time things don’t necessarily play out exactly as Holmes envisions them, so he has to adjust his thinking.”
The director adds that they put a twist on the technique in the climactic confrontation between the film’s central protagonist and antagonist, mirroring Holmes’ strategy with Moriarty’s counterstrategy. Ritchie comments, “It gave us the perfect opportunity to convey that both Holmes and Moriarty are operating on the same intellectual plane. But he’s still a very physical Sherlock Holmes.”
Eric Oram, who has trained Robert Downey Jr. for years in the martial art of Wing Chun Kung Fu, again worked with the actor, as he did on “Sherlock Holmes,” to achieve his character’s intuitive fighting style.
Stunt coordinator Franklin Henson says, “Robert is always game to do his own stunts and he’s very good at it. It was also a great help having Eric because he knows the dynamic Robert is used to.”
Henson choreographed a more traditional pugilistic style for Moriarty in light of the fact that he had been a boxing champion at Cambridge. Jared Harris also did his own stunts for the fight that proves the professor is a worthy opponent for the detective, in brawn as well as brains. Ritchie affirms, “Moriarty has the appearance of an academic, but we know that looks can be deceiving.”
The fight scenes were not confined to the men, which is something Noomi Rapace welcomed. “Sim is a street fighter,” the actress asserts. “She can punch and kick and she’s very good with knives, but when she’s thrown into a situation, she’ll grab whatever is close at hand. She’s scrappy. I like that,” she smiles.
Sim shows her mettle in a thrilling action sequence that unfolds at the gentleman’s club, where Holmes’ ulterior motives have little—or actually nothing—to do with Watson’s bachelor party. London’s historic Wilton’s Music Hall was turned into the rowdy establishment, where Holmes thwarts the attack of an exceptionally acrobatic Cossack assassin, sent by Moriarty to kill Sim. The ensuing chase and fight sequence, which traverses the club’s multiple levels, features the skills of a free runner as well as a stuntman, both dressed in the full Russian regalia of the period.
In designing Sim’s costume, Jenny Beavan took into consideration the character’s physicality, as well as her Gypsy heritage. Beavan observes, “Sim would not tolerate the confines of Victorian fashion; I wanted her clothes to have a sense of freedom. I found a great picture in Harper’s Bazaar of a woman in the 1890s hunting in what would have been a very short skirt for the time, and I thought it would be perfect for her.”
While not opulent, Sim’s wardrobe is very colorful, with delicate embroidery and layers of different fabrics and textures. There is a touch of masculinity in her hat and boots, offset by the femininity of her ornate jewelry.
“If we can find him and stop him…it will prevent
the collapse of Western civilization. No pressure.”
Moriarty’s grand scheme is intended to have global repercussions, so the mission to stop him eventually leads Holmes and Watson beyond England’s borders. The international scope of the adventure presented both opportunities and challenges to the creative teams, starting with the fact that the movie was filmed almost entirely in the UK.
Recreating 19th-century Europe also involved some 21st-century technology. The visual effects team, headed by visual effects supervisor Chas Jarrett, utilized second unit photography and green screens to erase more than a century of change. Dan Lin expands, “The latest visual effects technology enabled us to film primarily in and around London while incorporating the backdrops of other parts of Europe.”
The Greenwich district was used for segments in both England and France, including the opening London street scenes, where a disguised Sherlock Holmes follows Irene Adler. Greenwich later served for exterior scenes outside the Paris Opera House.
London’s Richmond Park was used to film Sim’s Gypsy camp, where Holmes and Watson track down Sim, who joins them in their quest to find her brother, Rene, beginning in Paris. A café in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower—then a newly constructed architectural marvel—was built at Hampton Court, just outside of the city.
As Moriarty’s sphere of destruction widens, Holmes, Watson and Sim must make their way from France into Germany on horseback—demonstrating one of Sherlock’s few shortcomings. The sequence was filmed in the scenic mountains of Wales.
England’s historic Chatham Dockyard became the site of the German Meinhard Munitions Factory, where we see the forebears of modern warfare on a massive scale and where Holmes learns firsthand the ruthlessness of his enemy.
The action inexorably draws Holmes and Moriarty to a fateful encounter in a spectacular villa straddling Reichenbach Falls in the Swiss Alps. Designed by Greenwood, the stunning vista was realized by Jarrett’s VFX team. Downey reflects, “I think it was just as Conan Doyle would have wanted it, which makes me particularly proud. There is a sweeping nature to it that is both majestic and terrifying—a fitting precipice for these two formidable foes to go at it once and for all.”
The international flavor of the story is also reflected in the music by Hans Zimmer, who created the score for the first “Sherlock Holmes.” Zimmer offers, “Of course we included the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ theme, but this was a bigger, more epic movie, so we wanted to advance that idea in the music as well.”
The composer wrote a new suite for Moriarty and also wanted to incorporate music to represent the spirit of Sim’s Gypsy culture. Zimmer traveled to Roma settlements in Slovakia, where he says he discovered “unbelievable musicianship. We found ourselves a couple of bands and put them on a bus to Vienna, where we went into a tiny recording studio and started making music. The interesting thing is I don’t speak Romani and they can’t understand German or English, but when we sat down and started playing, there was no question about what language we spoke.”
Ritchie states, “I love working with Hans. He’s a great collaborator, which can truly be said of everyone who worked on this team. Far beyond myself, the producers, and the cast, this film reflects the creative contributions of a lot of talented people, so I feel very lucky in that sense.”
Joel Silver concludes, “Working on this movie was a fun time and a great ride and I think that’s something that will be shared by the audience. I hope everyone comes away from the film thinking, ‘What’s next?’”
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ABOUT THE CAST
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. (Sherlock Holmes), a two-time Academy Award® nominee, earned his most recent Oscar® nomination, for Best Supporting Actor, for his work in Ben Stiller’s comedy hit “Tropic Thunder.” His performance as Kirk Lazarus, a white Australian actor playing a black American character, also brought him Golden Globe, BAFTA Award and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® nominations.
Downey was honored with his first Oscar® nomination, in the category of Best Actor, for his portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in Richard Attenborough’s acclaimed 1992 biopic “Chaplin,” for which he also won BAFTA and London Film Critics Awards and received a Golden Globe Award nomination. Downey earned another Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the title role of Guy Ritchie’s 2009 hit “Sherlock Holmes.”
In summer 2008, Downey enjoyed blockbuster success with “Iron Man,” in which he starred as the Marvel Comics superhero under the direction of Jon Favreau. The film earned more than $585 million worldwide, making it one of the year’s biggest hits. Downey returned to the role in the successful 2010 sequel, which reunited him with Favreau. He again stars as Iron Man in Josh Whedon’s upcoming actioner “The Avengers,” which teams the character with other Marvel Comics heroes and opens in May 2012. In addition, Downey will star in “Iron Man 3,” to be directed by Shane Black.
Downey’s other recent films include Todd Phillips’ “Due Date,” alongside Zach Galifianakis; “The Soloist,” opposite Jamie Foxx; David Fincher’s “Zodiac,” with Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo; Richard Linklater’s “A Scanner Darkly,” with Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder and Woody Harrelson; “Fur,” opposite Nicole Kidman as photographer Diane Arbus; and “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.” He also shared in a SAG Award® nomination as a member of the ensemble cast of George Clooney’s true-life drama “Good Night, and Good Luck,” and in a Special Jury Prize won by the ensemble cast of “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” presented at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
Downey’s long list of film credits also includes “Gothika”; “The Singing Detective”; Curtis Hanson’s “Wonder Boys”; “U.S. Marshals”; Mike Figgis’ “One Night Stand”; Jodie Foster’s “Home for the Holidays”; “Richard III”; Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers”; Robert Altman’s “The Gingerbread Man” and “Short Cuts,” sharing in a special Golden Globe Award for Best Ensemble for the latter; “Heart and Souls”; “Soapdish”; “Air America”; “Chances Are”; “True Believer”; “Less Than Zero”; “Weird Science”; “Firstborn”; and “Pound,” in which he made his debut under the direction of Robert Downey Sr.
On the small screen, Downey made his primetime debut in 2001 when he joined the cast of the series “Ally McBeal.” For his work on the show, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television and a Screen Actors Guild Award® for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. In addition, Downey was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
In 2004, Robert Downey Jr. showcased his singing talents in his debut album, The Futurist, released on the Sony Classics label and featuring eight original songs.
Downey and his wife, Susan, recently formed Team Downey, a production company based at Warner Bros.
JUDE LAW (Dr. Watson) is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed actor with a wealth of widely varied film and theatre roles to his credit.
Earlier in 2011, Law joined an all-star ensemble cast in Steven Soderbergh’s hit thriller “Contagion.” He is currently starring in the Martin Scorsese-directed fantasy “Hugo,” based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Law’s upcoming films include Fernando Meirelles’s “360,” with Rachel Weisz and Anthony Hopkins, and “Anna Karenina,” directed by Joe Wright from a screenplay by Tom Stoppard, based on the classic Tolstoy novel. He is also lending his voice to the animated feature “Rise of the Guardians.”
On the stage, Law recently earned Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations and won a Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for his performance in the 2009 Broadway revival of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” having first played the role in the Donmar Warehouse production in London’s West End. He just completed a starring role in the West End revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie.”
Law first drew major critical attention for his performance as Oscar Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, in the 1997 feature “Wilde,” for which he won an Evening Standard British Film Award. He went on to gain international acclaim for his work in Anthony Minghella’s 1999 hit “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Law’s portrayal of the doomed golden boy Dickie Greenleaf brought him both Oscar® and Golden Globe nominations, as well as a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.
He later garnered Oscar®, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations, for Best Actor in a Leading Role, for his performance in Minghella’s 2003 Civil War epic “Cold Mountain.” Among his other acting honors, Law received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” won a National Board of Review Award as a member of the ensemble cast of Mike Nichols’ drama “Closer,” and shared in a Screen Actors Guild Award® nomination for Best Motion Picture Cast Performance for his role in Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator.”
Law has also starred in and produced Kenneth Branagh’s “Sleuth,” opposite Michael Caine, and “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.” His wide range of film credits also includes Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus”; Nancy Meyers’ romantic comedy hit “The Holiday,” with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jack Black; Anthony Minghella’s “Breaking and Entering,”; the title role in Charles Shyer’s “Alfie”; Sam Mendes’ “Road to Perdition,” with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman; Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Enemy at the Gates”; David Cronenberg’s “eXistenZ”; Clint Eastwood’s “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”; and “Gattaca,” which marked his American film debut.
Law began his career on the stage, acting with the National Youth Theatre at the age of 12. In 1994, he created the role of Michael in Jean Cocteau’s play “Les Parents Terribles,” for which he was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for Outstanding Newcomer. The play was renamed “Indiscretions” when it moved to Broadway, where Law received a Tony Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor. His subsequent stage work includes “`Tis Pity She’s a Whore,” at London’s Young Vic Theatre, and a highly acclaimed performance in the title role of Christopher Marlowe’s “Dr. Faustus,” both directed by David Lan.
In 2007, the French Academy awarded Law a César d’Honneur in recognition of his contribution to cinema, and the government of France named him a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his artistic achievements.
Noomi Rapace (Sim) gained global acclaim with her riveting and unnerving portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in the original film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling Millennium Trilogy, beginning with her breakout performance in Niels Arden Oplev’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” For her performance in the film, Rapace won several international honors, including Sweden’s Guldbagge Award for Best Actress. She was also recognized with nominations for a BAFTA Award, a Critics’ Choice Award and a European Film Award. She went on to receive praise when she reprised her role in “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”
Upcoming, Rapace will next be seen starring in Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated sci-fi thriller “Prometheus,” with Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba and Guy Pearce. The film is slated to open on June 8, 2012. She is also set to star opposite Colin Farrell in the thriller “Dead Man Down,” which reunites her with director Niels Arden Oplev.
Earlier in 2011, Rapace starred in Pål Sletaune’s Norwegian thriller “Babycall,” earning her Best Actress honors at the Rome Film Festival for her performance as a young mother who believes she has overheard a murder. In 2010, she starred in Pernilla August’s award-winning directorial debut, “Beyond,” (“Svinalägorna”), for which she earned another Guldbagge Award nomination.
Born in Sweden, Rapace began her acting career at the age of seven, in Iceland’s “In the Shadow of the Raven.” She went on to appear in more than 20 film and television projects. In 2007, she made her mark on the big screen with a critically acclaimed performance in the starring role of the Danish film “Daisy Diamond.”
JARED HARRIS (Moriarty) is a classically trained stage actor and former member of London’s famed Royal Shakespeare Company, who has also been seen in a wide range of film and television projects. He is currently in production on Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” opposite Daniel Day Lewis. Harris plays Ulysses S. Grant in the biopic, based on historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s best-selling book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.
On television, Harris will soon reprise his role as 1960s ad executive Lane Pryce in the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning drama “Mad Men,” which is heading into its fifth season on AMC.
Harris’ extensive film career encompasses more than 50 movies, recently including David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, and “Extraordinary Measures,” alongside Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. Harris made his film debut in 1989’s “The Rachel Papers,” which marked the directorial debut of his brother Damian. He subsequently delivered a riveting portrayal of Andy Warhol in the award-winning “I Shot Andy Warhol,” and played the sleazy Russian cab driver, Vladimir, in Todd Solondz’s “Happiness,” for which he shared in the 1999 National Board of Review Acting Ensemble Award. Among his many other credits are Michael Mann’s “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Sylvia,” Jim Jarmusch’s “Dead Man,” “Igby Goes Down,” “Mr. Deeds,” and John Carpenter’s “The Ward.”
In addition, Harris has accumulated an impressive list of television credits in both England and the U.S., including a highly acclaimed performance as Henry VIII for the BBC production of “The Other Boleyn Girl.” His work for the BBC also includes the miniseries “To the Ends of the Earth” and the starring role in “Coup!” Stateside, Harris has been seen in recurring roles on “The Riches” and “Fringe” and has guest starred on such series as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Without a Trace.” He also portrayed John Lennon in the 2000 original VH1 film “Two of Us.”
On the stage, Harris has appeared with some of the most renowned theater companies in both London and New York. He made his American stage debut as Hotspur in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s “Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2.” He then went on to perform with the company in both “`Tis Pity She’s A Whore” and “King Lear.” His additional theatre credits include the New Group’s Obie Award-winning production of Mike Leigh’s “Ecstasy”; the New Jersey Shakespeare Company’s experimental production of “Hamlet,” in which he played the title role; the Almeida Theatre’s production of Tennessee Williams’ “A Period of Adjustment”; and the Vineyard Theater’s production of “More Lies About Jerzy.”
Born in London, Harris is the son of Irish actor Richard Harris. He attended North Carolina’s Duke University, where he majored in drama and literature, and after graduation, studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
RACHEL McADAMS (Irene Adler) starred opposite Owen Wilson in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy hit “Midnight in Paris,” which premiered to great acclaim at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. In 2010, she starred in Roger Michell’s romantic comedy “Morning Glory,” with Harrison Ford, Patrick Wilson and Diane Keaton. The previous year, McAdams starred in three major motion pictures, ending the year with Guy Ritchie’s hit thriller “Sherlock Holmes,” in which she first played the role of Irene Adler.
McAdams has several films upcoming, including an as-yet-untitled drama for director Terrence Malick, with Javier Bardem, Ben Affleck and Rachel Weisz, and the romantic drama “The Vow,” in which she stars opposite Channing Tatum.
A native of Canada, McAdams first captured the attention of Hollywood when she landed the starring role in the 2002 comedy “The Hot Chick.” She then starred in two very different back-to-back hits: the comedy “Mean Girls,” directed by Mark Waters from a screenplay by Tina Fey and also starring Lindsay Lohan; and Nick Cassavetes’ romantic drama “The Notebook,” opposite Ryan Gosling.
In summer 2005, McAdams starred with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in the smash hit comedy “Wedding Crashers.” Later that year, she starred in Wes Craven’s thriller “Red Eye,” alongside Cillian Murphy, and joined the ensemble cast of the holiday drama “The Family Stone,” with Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker and Claire Danes. McAdams was named Supporting Actress of the Year at the 2005 ShoWest Convention, and received the Hollywood Breakthrough Award at the 2005 Hollywood Film Festival.
McAdams then starred with Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper and Patricia Clarkson in Ira Sachs’ independent, 1940s-set drama “Married Life,” which premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival, and in the 2008 indie feature “The Lucky Ones,” opposite Tim Robbins. In 2009, in addition to “Sherlock Holmes,” she starred in the thriller “State of Play,” with Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck and Helen Mirren, and the romantic drama “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” opposite Eric Bana.
McAdams was recently named the Female Star of the Year by the National Association of Theatre Owners at the 2009 ShoWest Convention.
STEPHEN FRY (Mycroft Holmes) has had a multi-faceted career, including success as an actor, writer and director. Upcoming, he is part of the ensemble cast of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first of two films adapting the classic book by J.R.R. Tolkien. He also recently voiced the role of the Cheshire Cat in Tim Burton’s hit “Alice in Wonderland.”
Fry previously shared in a Screen Actors Guild Award® and a Critics’ Choice Award as a member of the ensemble cast of Robert Altman’s “Gosford Park.” He also received a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of famed playwright Oscar Wilde in the biopic “Wilde.” In 2003, he made his feature film directorial debut with “Bright Young Things,” helming from his own screenplay and also appearing in the film. Among his other film credits are “Eichmann,” “V for Vendetta,” “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,” “Peter’s Friends,” “I.Q.,” and “A Fish Called Wanda.”
Born in the UK, Fry attended Cambridge University, where he first worked with Hugh Laurie, who became a lifelong friend and a comedy partner. Together with Laurie, Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery, Fry wrote and performed “The Footlights Revue,” which was televised by the BBC in 1982. He again teamed with Laurie and Thompson, as well as Ben Elton and Robbie Coltrane, on the Granada comedy series “Alfresco.” Fry and Laurie went on to collaborate on “Blackadder,” “A Bit of Fry and Laurie,” and “Jeeves and Wooster,” playing Jeeves to Laurie’s Wooster.
Fry’s more recent television credits include the starring role on the series “Kingdom,” on which he also served as executive producer; recurring roles on “Bones” and “Absolute Power”; and the telefilm “Tom Brown’s Schooldays.” He has also written and hosted a number of documentary TV projects, including “Fry’s Planet,” “Stephen Fry in America” and “Stephen Fry: HIV & Me.” In addition, Fry is the host of the BBC quiz show “QI,” for which he has earned five BAFTA TV Award nominations for Best Entertainment Performance.
For the stage, Fry wrote the book for the 1984 revival of the 1930s’ musical “Me and My Girl,” which ran for eight years in the West End, winning the Olivier Award for Best Musical. When the production moved to Broadway in 1986, Fry won a Drama Desk Award and earned a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical. Fry began writing for the stage with the play “Latin!,” which premiered at the 1980 Edinburgh Festival, where it won the Fringe First Award. In addition, Fry has also performed in productions of Alan Bennett’s “Forty Years On,” Michael Frayn’s “Look, Look,” and Simon Gray’s “The Common Pursuit” and “Cell Mates.”
An accomplished author, Fry has written a wide range of books, including four best-selling novels, as well as an autobiography titled Moab Is My Washpot. His latest book, The Ode Less Travelled, a guide to writing poetry, was published in 2005. Additionally, Fry’s voice is also well known to those who listen to the audiobook versions of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, which he reads aloud.
EDDIE MARSAN (Inspector Lestrade) has been seen in films ranging from blockbuster hits to quirky independents, most recently including the Sundance Film Festival Award-winning “Tyrannosaur”; “London Boulevard,” with Keira Knightley and Colin Farrell; and Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes,” in which he first played Lestrade, the Scotland Yard inspector who is frequently at odds with the famed detective.
He has also been honored for his collaborations with acclaimed filmmaker Mike Leigh. His performance in Leigh’s 2004 drama “Vera Drake” brought Marsan his first British Independent Film (BIF) Award, for Best Supporting Actor, as well as a nomination for a London Film Critics Circle Award. He later won a BIF Award, a London Film Critics Circle Award and a National Society of Film Critics Award and received an Evening Standard British Film Award nomination, all for Best Supporting Actor, for his role as the troubled driving teacher in Leigh’s 2008 slice-of-life comedy “Happy-Go-Lucky.” Marsan most recently gained another Evening Standard Award nomination, for Best Actor, for his work in the indie feature “The Disappearance of Alice Creed,” and received his third BIF Award nomination for “Tyrannosaur.”
Marsan has a number of films upcoming, including “War Horse,” directed by Steven Spielberg; Rupert Sanders’ fairy tale adventure “Snow White and the Huntsman”; “Jack the Giant Killer,” for director Bryan Singer; and his third collaboration with Mike Leigh, “A Running Jump,” which is part of Britain’s Cultural Olympiad festival.
His other credits include Richard Linklater’s drama “Me and Orson Welles”; Peter Berg’s “Hancock”; Michael Mann’s “Miami Vice”; Neil Burger’s “The Illusionist”; J. J. Abrams’ “Mission: Impossible III”; James McTeigue’s “V for Vendetta”; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “21 Grams”; and Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York,” to name only a few.
For television, Marsan’s extensive credits include the award-winning BBC miniseries “Criminal Justice” and “Little Dorrit”; the BBC2/PBS drama “God on Trial,” in which he played a traumatized father imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp; the BBC telefilm “Dive”; and the two-part TV adaptation of the classic “Moby Dick.”
Born and raised in Bethnal Green, East London, Marsan served an apprenticeship as a printer before beginning his acting career. He later attended the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and the Academy of the Science of Acting & Directing.
KELLY REILLY (Mary) reunites with director Guy Ritchie to reprise the role she played in the 2009 hit “Sherlock Holmes.”
In 2012, Reilly will be seen in the drama “Flight,” in which she co-stars with Denzel Washington and John Goodman under the direction of Robert Zemeckis. She most recently appeared in the World War II drama “Edwin Boyd,” which premiered at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival.
Reilly has been honored for her work on the big screen, most recently earning a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Actress for her work in 2008’s “Eden Lake.” Previously, she won both London Film Critics Circle and Empire Awards for Best Newcomer, and also received a British Independent Film Award nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Stephen Frears’ acclaimed 2005 feature “Mrs. Henderson Presents.” The Empire Award also recognized her performance that same year in “Pride & Prejudice.” In addition, she won the Chopard Trophy as the Female Revelation at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
Reilly earlier starred in the internationally successful French film “L’Auberge Espagnole” and its sequel, “Les Poupées Russes,” earning a César Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the latter. Among her other film credits are “Meant to Be”; “Ti presento un amico”; Richard Linklater’s “Me and Orson Welles”; “Triage,” with Colin Farrell; “The Libertine”; and “Last Orders.”
On the stage, Reilly became the youngest-ever Olivier Award nominee in the category of Best Actress when she was nominated in 2004 for her performance in “After Miss Julie,” presented at London’s Donmar Warehouse. In 2008, she received another Olivier Award nomination in the same category for the role of Desdemona in the Donmar Warehouse production of “Othello.” Her extensive stage work also includes “Look Back in Anger,” at the Edinburgh Lyceum Theatre; the Comedy Theatre production of “Sexual Perversity in Chicago”; the Royal Court presentations of “Piano/Forte” and “Blasted”; the Royal National Theatre productions of “A Prayer for Owen Meany” and “The London Cuckolds”; and “The Graduate” at the Gielgud Theatre.
Reilly has also appeared on television, recently including the starring role of Detective Anna Travis in the 2009 television movie “Above Suspicion.” She reprised her role in the subsequent miniseries “Above Suspicion 2: The Red Dahlia” and “Above Suspicion: Deadly Intent.” She returns to the role in “Above Suspicion: Silent Scream,” which will air in 2012. Her credits also include the telefilms “He Kills Coppers” and “Joe’s Palace.”
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
GUY RITCHIE (Director) directed the smash hit “Sherlock Holmes,” which opened on Christmas Day 2009 and went on to gross more than $516 million worldwide. Successfully bringing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famed detective to the big screen for a new generation, the acclaimed film starred Robert Downey Jr. in the title role and Jude Law as Dr. Watson.
Prior to “Sherlock Holmes,” Ritchie wrote, directed and produced the widely praised crime comedy “RocknRolla,” featuring an international ensemble cast, including Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Jeremy Piven and Chris Bridges. The film premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival before opening in the UK at the top of the box office. “RocknRolla” went on to win the Empire Award for Best British Film.
Ritchie recently partnered with Lionel Wigram to form a new production company, which has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. He also has several writing and directing projects in development, including the epic “The Siege of Malta,” as well as “The Gamekeeper,” based on a Virgin comic book series he created.
Born in London, Ritchie started in the UK film industry in 1993 as a runner on Wardour Street. He worked his way up the ranks to directing music videos and commercials before writing and directing his first short film, “The Hard Case,” in 1995.
Ritchie made his writing and directing feature film debut with “Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels.” Made on a modest budget of $1 million, the film became one of the UK’s biggest box office hits and made its U.S. premiere at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. The London Film Critics Circle named Ritchie the British Screenwriter of the Year for the feature, which also received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best British Film. “Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels” also went on to spawn a series of British gangster flicks and helped launch the Hollywood careers of several British actors, including Jason Statham, Vinnie Jones and Jason Flemyng.
Ritchie followed with the 2000 hit “Snatch,” which he wrote and directed. The film featured an ensemble cast, including Brad Pitt, Dennis Farina, Jason Statham, Vinnie Jones, Alan Ford, Lennie James and Benicio Del Toro. In addition to being a box office success, “Snatch” also brought Ritchie an Empire Award for Best British Director, firmly establishing him as a new visionary in the film industry.
Following “Snatch,” Ritchie co-wrote and directed “Swept Away,” a remake of the 1974 Italian classic “Travolti da un insolito destino nell’azzurro mare d’agosto.” The romantic comedy starred Madonna, Adrianno Giannini, Bruce Greenwood, Elizabeth Banks and Jeanne Tripplehorn.
Ritchie continued to explore new challenges with the edgy crime thriller “Revolver,” which premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival. Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Vincent Pastore and Outkast’s Andre Benjamin starred in the film, which was later released in the U.S. in December 2007.
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