Director Bill Condon Talks His Retired Sherlock Holmes Project at TIFF 2013; Says It Asks “Who Is Holmes Without His Mental Acuity?”

     September 10, 2013


After concluding the Twilight franchise by helming The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts One and Two, director Bill Condon has moved incredibly fast in choosing his follow-up projects.  He went directly into helming the WikiLeaks film The Fifth Estate with Benedict Cumberbatch, and we just recently learned that the Oscar winner will next be reteaming with his Gods and Monsters star Ian McKellen for a film about a retired Sherlock Holmes called A Slight Trick of the Mind.  The pic finds an aged Holmes attempting to solve one last mystery without his trusty Watson and his side and with his mental acuity slowly dwindling.

Steve recently spoke with Condon at the Toronto International Film Festival to support The Fifth Estate, and during the course of the conversation Condon spoke a bit about A Slight Trick of the Mind.  He confirmed that they’re aiming for a late 2014 or early 2015 release and talked a bit about the film’s intriguing central premise.  Hit the jump to read on.

ian-mckellen-a-slight-trick-of-the-mindThough the classic Arthur Conan Doyle character appears to be everywhere nowadays with a major film franchise and two TV series devoted to Holmes, Condon said that A Slight Trick of the Mind puts a fascinating twist on the character:

“It’s a great idea: who is Sherlock Holmes without his mental acuity?  The thing that defines him is fading, is going away; what’s left?  But he has enough of it—just [to reassure] Holmes fans—to figure out one final puzzle.”

Condon went on to praise Jeffrey Hatcher’s script and talked about reuniting with McKellen after all these years:

“It’s a beautiful script written by Jeffrey Hatcher and it’s a great part and I’ve been looking for something to do with Ian for the longest time, and he read it very quickly and said ‘It’s a part and a half,’ and he said he’d love to do it.  So it wasn’t tough [to get him] at all, it was really exciting.”

Condon said that they’re still figuring out the shooting dates so he’s unsure whether the film will be released late next year or early 2015, but it will be one or the other:

“Well we’ll see, I don’t know.  We’re trying to figure out the dates whether that’s going to be too tight.  Either that or the following year.  We’re going to film outside of London.”

He added that further casting probably won’t take place until November.  Watch the Slight Trick of the Mind portion of the interview below and look out for Steve’s full interview with Condon on Collider soon.  If you missed what Condon had to say about a Twilight supercut of Breaking Dawn, click here.  The Fifth Estate opens in theaters on October 18th.


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