Sherlock: McKellen to play retired Holmes, Cumberbatch back too

Posted Sep 6, 2013 by Mathew Wace Peck
As Benedict Cumberbatch gears up for the season 3 launch of Sherlock, Sir Ian McKellen is slated to play Holmes in his retirement, it has emerged.
Sir Ian McKellen  at the San Diego Comic Con International 2013  San Diego  California  USA
Sir Ian McKellen, at the San Diego Comic Con International 2013, San Diego, California, USA
Sir Ian McKellen
The announcement made by Screen Daily says McKellen will play the lead amateur detective in A Slight Trick of the Mind, which is based Mitch Cullin’s book of the same name.
The 74-year-old actor, well-known for playing Gandalf and Magneto in the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit and X-Men movies, will take on the role of Sherlock Holmes in a new film which will be directed by Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and Part 2).
Condon directed McKellen in the 1998 film Gods and Monsters, which told the story of the last days of the life of the horror-film director, James Whale.
According to Screen Daily, A Slight Trick of the Mind is set in 1947 and will see Holmes “marred by a case from 50 years previous, involving a couple, of which the wife Sherlock shared a bed with.” The report goes on to add that it “will also show his life with his housekeeper and son, who follows in his sleuthing footsteps.”
The company behind the new movie is AI Film. Its CEO, Aviv Giladi, told Screen Daily, “Bill Condon and Ian McKellen are a perfect match for this clever and intriguing project, the third on our current production slate. The next few months will be exciting as we move closer to shooting with our producer partners, Anne Carey and Iain Canning.”
Meanwhile, Holmes fans are waiting in eager anticipation of season 3 of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s Sherlock, the BBC’s successful modern-day re-imagining of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories.
Although no date has been given for the series’ return, trailers for Season 3 have started to appear on TV and online.
Speaking to the e. online website recently, Cumberbatch said of Sherlock, “It’s great. The second series was weird […] it was such a phenomenal success, we were a bit distanced from the routine and the inhabiting of those characters. However, the 37-year-old actor added, “This season [we’re] straight into it, comfortable, [the characters] immediately fit under our skins.”
Cumberbatch also confirmed how much he enjoys working on the show. “[It’s] really hard work because it wouldn’t be a good show unless we were trying to evolve it and set ourselves new challenges and standards. But I love it. I’m very fond of playing him,” he said.
Finally, without giving anything away, it not being worth “whatever part of my body they’d remove if I said anything,” he added, “You’re in for a treat this series.”
In the meantime, Cumberbatch can be seen in Star Trek Into Darkness — in which he plays the lead villain, Khan Noonien Singh — and as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate.
McKellen, too, is as busy as ever. His co-star in ITV’s Vicious, Sir Derek Jacobi, recently spoke of their not being able to record the recently-announced season 2 of the gay-themed sitcom because of McKellen’s full Hollywood movie-making schedule.