Downey's 'Sherlock': Less Gent, More Hero
Movie depicts brilliant but troubled brawler
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2009 11:11 AM CST
In this image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Robert Downey Jr., stars as Sherlock Holmes in a scene from "Sherlock Holmes."   (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures., Alex Bailey)
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(Newser) – The new Sherlock Holmes, played by Robert Downey Jr, is no tweed-clad gentleman. In the latest movie remake, which opens Christmas Day, the detective is reimagined as a ripped martial arts expert "with a mind that whizzes along like a Ferrari and a penchant for falling into a disheveled slough of depression," Rachel Abramowitz writes in the LA Times. And that's exactly how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would have wanted it, the movie's producer says.

When Lionel Wigram started rereading Doyle's books, "my big discovery was that the original stories that were written 120 years ago were more modern than the films that came after it." From there, a superhero was born. "Before we had Batman or Spider-Man, we had someone who had superpowers, powers of perception unlike anyone else had, and also incredibly flawed vulnerabilities," said one of the writers. "We were trying to find ways in the action sequences to dramatize that."