OFTEN, i wonder aloud how it is that certain authors -- john updike and donald westlake are two recently deceased masters who come to mind -- have been either overlooked or royally screwed up onscreen.
with the sherlock holmes novels and stories of arthur conan doyle, the phenomenon is the opposite: holmes is not only thought to be the most adapted character in history (200-some films with 70-or-so actors), some of these films have been quite good.
but it's been a long time since there's been a major holmes movie -- my generation has only musty memories of the great rationalist/sleuth/wit/morphine addict.
so it's intriguing and possibly exciting that TWO new holmes adapts seem to be coming down the pike, with guy ritchie's film starring robert downey jr. (!) and jude law coming in christmas, and a comedy starring sacha "borat" baron cohen and will ferrell coming next year, though the studio seems to be in confusion on this one.
HERE is my story in today's LATimes, for which i spoke to ritchie, producer joel silver, a very serious conan doyle fan, and champ literary critic michael dirda.
i must admit: i grew up in a house with calvino and chandler on the shelf, but no conan doyle, at least i dont think so: unlike a lot of kids, i NEVER read this stuff. in the last few months, knowing this story was coming up, i have delved into the holmes stories and novels and it's been a real pleasure.
Photo credit: Blue Bottle Art Gallery