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If you’ve watched the trailers, seen the posters or read the rapidly multiplying coverage, you’ll already know that Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes are very different men indeed. There’s definitely some core factors that tie them together, of course, such as their almost supernatural powers of observation and, to varying degrees, skill in a fist fight.

The conception of this new Holmes started before Robert Downey Jr‘s casting, even before Ritchie’s involvement. Indeed, they were picked to fit. After the break, see some of the concept art that producer-writer Lionel Wigram had comic strip illustrator John Watkiss draw up in order to convince the studio of his approach.

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Bleeding Cool have pointed out the common misconception that this new Sherlock Holmes was based upon a comic book, and traced the source of that botch up to the existence of this concept art combining with bad journalism.

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The occult elements of the film were already present and correct in these images, as well as the more general vision of Holmes as an action man. This Irene Adler, if that is her, is dressed rather more… provocatively than the one Rachel McAdams is playing, however, and while some of these images are clearly representing scenes that have made it into the final film, some of them show scenes that I don’t recognise at all. You might consider there to be some minor spoilers in these pictures, but they’re mixed in with so much stuff you won’t be seeing you can pretty much scroll on without fear.
If you want the original of any of these, or perhaps just a print, then stop by Gallery Nucleus.
If you want the original of any of these, or perhaps just a print, then stop by Gallery Nucleus.

There’s not much I can recommend about the finished film. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law offer pretty much the performances you’d expect, and Eddie Marsan is a great Lestrade, but the cast are swimming upstream in a dirty river. Many of the FX shots are plain ugly, the action sequences are terribly badly staged, the clue-and-solution chains are often really very tired and cliched, and the dialogue lacks any real pep or spark. Probably the best thing about the film overall is Phillipe Rousselot’s lighting but even that seems rather unexciting when compared his previous work.

Sherlock Holmes was clearly intended to launch a franchise. The best result will see the same cast return with a new set of writers and a new director to bring us future installments.

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