Sherlock Holmes movies 'not in competition'

The producer of Guy Ritchie’s forthcoming Sherlock Holmes movie today dismissed talk of competition with a rival offering starring Sacha Baron Cohen.

Robert Downey Jr is the detective and Jude Law is Watson in Ritchie’s Warner Bros film.

Ali G creator Baron Cohen stars as the fictional detective alongside US actor Will Ferrell as the sleuth’s crime-solving partner in the Hollywood film from Columbia Pictures.

Joel Silver, a co-producer of the Ritchie movie, said the film – which takes a comic book featuring the detective as a skilled swordsman as source material - would be out first.

He said of the rival film: “I heard about it when we were putting the final deals together. Ours is serious... theirs is a comedy. We’re not going to be coming out together... I hope what we’ve done is launched a franchise.”

Ritchie said his film, an “intelligent” action movie, would probably contain more fight scenes and violence than previous on-screen incarnations of the detective.

But the director of 'RocknRolla' and 'Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels', said his movie would not be a trademark Ritchie film.

He would not give away whether his Holmes would appear with a deerstalker hat, pipe and cloak.

The director said he was “a fan” of the previous Holmes films, in which Basil Rathbone played the detective in the 1930s and 1940s.

But he said he hoped his film, his biggest-budget movie to date, would be better than previous titles about Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary creation.

It will also feature a romance between Watson and his love interest Mary.

Ritchie said: “I knew Sherlock Holmes from tape. I wasn’t a very good reader. What I imagined in my mind wasn’t exactly what I had seen on film.

“I’d like to bring something new to this project. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. It won’t be a traditional Guy Ritchie thing. It will be a new Guy Ritchie thing.”

Downey Jr joked of playing the lead: “Clearly I’m going to do it better than it’s ever been done before.”

Of the comic book the movie is based on, he said: “I wasn’t familiar with this story.”

He said: “I was looking into the books and the more I looked the more I thought: ’Fantastic. He was a student of martial arts, what a weirdo’.”

He said: “We’re hoping to be as authentic as we can to the original. We’re keen to keep it authentic to Conan Doyle.”

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