Henry Cavill On Enola Holmes 2 And The Softer Side Of Sherlock [Exclusive Interview]

The game is afoot once again, and Sherlock Holmes' younger sister is back as a full-fledged detective in her own right. "Enola Holmes 2," the follow-up to the 2020 film based on Nancy Springer's young adult novel series, premieres next week on Netflix. Enola, played by "Stranger Things" actress Millie Bobby Brown, is a brilliant young woman whose unconventional mother, Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), taught her about patterns, messages, and solving mysteries. After her successful detective work in the last film, Enola has chosen to open an agency of her own. But that's not exactly going well, as women in business in the Victorian era weren't taken very seriously. 

When a case of a missing sister falls into her lap, though, Enola will do all she can to solve the crime. However, this time she has more help from her very famous brother, Sherlock (Henry Cavill). I recently spoke to Cavill about the new film and his very different version of the classic character.

'It's about Sherlock supporting her story'

This version of Sherlock is much more empathetic, despite his darker side beginning to come out. He's still not comfortable with his sister running a detective agency, and he's not so sure she can do it on her own. Still, he's warmer than other famous versions we've seen, and Cavill has a reason for that. He explains that this is all due to his fictional sister's existence in this version of the Sherlock universe:

"Sherlock's forward-facing [persona] to the world in this is still the same as [in] other mediums, but when it comes to Enola, she has a route through the armor, through the frosty exterior. That's what makes this story slightly unique. It's about Enola, and it's about Sherlock supporting her story. So to add that warmth is key. 

We also see him battling with himself, and we see Enola assisting him and helping him realize that he doesn't necessarily need to carry everything by himself — despite him being a genius — that he does need help. And I think there's something wonderful in that [which] allows for warmth, and I think without warmth, it would seem alien and strange."

Part of the film's message is that you can be independent, but it's also okay to ask for help here and there, which is something both Sherlock and Enola learn. We're stronger together than we are apart. 

'It's just a matter of making sure that everything lines up'

There are seven books in the Nancy Springer series, and there is certainly a whole lot of lore to draw from for a third film — if they can get the gang back together, that is. Cavill recently stated that he'll be back to play the role of Superman in the future and that he's excited to tell an "enormously joyful" story in the future. Between season 3 of "The Witcher" and any new films that come from the Warner Bros./DC universe with recently announced helmers James Gunn and Peter Safran, it might be hard to get Cavill to shoot for any length of time. (He's also the lead of a new spy movie called "Argylle," which is meant to kick off yet another franchise.)

Without spoiling anything for viewers, there are some events at the end of "Enola Holmes 2" that open the door for more stories, particularly where Sherlock is concerned. Cavill would like to reprise the role again, but scheduling would be the issue. He says: 

"Interested? Yes, only time will tell. I mean, I'm getting quite busy these days. So it's just a matter of making sure that everything lines up and that I can give my full attention and dedication to every character."

After you watch "Enola Holmes 2," I'm sure you'll agree that we need more. The ending is just too enticing (in several ways) for this to be the last shot across the bow. 

'No matter how many times you watch the film, you will find something new'

There are a whole lot of different versions of Sherlock Holmes in the world, but Cavill says that he tried not to focus on those when developing his take on the character. "They're so wonderful, and they're there within their own world and their own time as well — and their own storytellers in charge." He explains that the main focus was to be "the supporting character to Enola's story, and making sure I did my duty as that." 

One thing that will have you pausing the film is when we get a look at Sherlock's home at 221B Baker Street. There are so many little items that will surely have fans analyzing them endlessly. Production designer Michael Carlin added little bits to show Sherlock's interest in things like natural philosophy and music and that he's an obsessive collector. Keep an eye out for his giant case board, books, microscopes, magnifying glasses, insects, fossils, and, of course, his trusty violin. 

Cavill spent much of his downtime on that set. He says:

"I think no matter how many times you watch the film, you will find something new. Because I was on there for many, many days, and I found something new every time. It's incredible, that set. I enjoyed it so much that I rarely left set when I was there. I spent most of my time just staring and then sitting, and it felt it felt like home somehow."

"Enola Holmes 2" will premiere on Netflix on November 4, 2022.