Henry Cavill has become the latest actor to portray the most famous detective in all of fiction, Sherlock Holmes. Cavill will play a supporting role as the consulting detective in Netflix’s upcoming movie Enola Holmes, which stars Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things in the lead role as Sherlock’s fourteen-year-old genius sister Enola. In an interview with Radio Times, Cavill explained how his version of Sherlock will differ from previous takes on the character.
“Our Sherlock is different from what we may see as the traditional misogynistic genius. Enola softens Sherlock and opens up his heart, which we haven’t really had access to in other renditions.”
Ironically, the exact same character arc described by Henry Cavill recently featured in the third season of the BBC show Sherlock, where the famous detective, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, discovers he has a genius sister named Eurus, and in is efforts to help her, becomes a kinder, more empathetic person.
Since Robert Downey Jr. and Cumberbatch have also played popular versions of Sherlock Holmes in recent times, not to mention Ian McKellen’s 2015 version of Sherlock in Mr. Holmes, and Will Ferrel’s riff on the character in 2018’s Holmes and Watson, the audience has been dealing with an excess of Sherlockian content. But Cavill is not worried about comparisons with those other Holmes, since his character is not going to be the center of the film.
“It was a lot of fun taking on such an iconic role, particularly as an enormous amount of the pressure was off because Sherlock’s not at the forefront of the story – Enola is – so he’s not going to be directly compared to Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr’s version.”
Based on the best-selling series by Nancy Springer, Enola Holmes tells the story of the youngest Holmes sibling, who sets out on a quest to track down her missing mother after her older brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock, prove to be singularly unhelpful. It will be strange to see Sherlock wrapped up in a mystery that he does not personally solve. For Cavill, his own similarity with the character’s approach to crime-solving lies not in being almost supernaturally observant, but staying doggedly with a case until it is solved.
“I’m not sure I have as practised an eye as Sherlock, who can see all these insane details, but I’d definitely never give up if I was a sleuth. I’m dogged and determined, and I will dig until I get to the bottom of something. We never tire of detective dramas because we get to compete with these incredible fictional geniuses and if we work it out, we have an enormous sense of satisfaction. If we don’t, we get satisfaction from the reveal at the end. My mother was extremely good at this.”
Directed by Harry Bradbeer, Enola Holmes features a lead cast of Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin, Adeel Akhtar, Fiona Shaw, Frances de la Tour, Louis Partridge, Burn Gorman, Susan Wokoma, with Henry Cavill and Helena Bonham Carter. The film arrives on Netflix Sept. 23. This news first appeared at RadioTimes.com.