Watson wrote the story — but he changed the ending.
I’ve read very little about the new Mr Holmes, starring Ian McKellen up to this point, simply because I wanted the first images I saw of it to be those in the trailer, not those of my overactive imagination. I’ve seen and read so much of him that I wanted this Holmes to present himself on his own terms — and I’m glad I held back.
This Sherlock Holmes is years past his prime, decades even. Watson has since passed away, and Sherlock has squirrelled himself away in the country in Sussex, keeping bees and keeping a lot less busy than in his Baker Street days. The universe he lives in is one in which he is both real and much more of a fictional character than perhaps in some of the other adaptations that don’t go meta quite so much as to have people cry out his name in the streets or on the Internet — or to have Sherlock go and watch a movie made of his exploits at the cinema.
He chose exile, he tells us, following a grave mistake that he made — Holmes is rewriting one of his cases, the case of a young woman who needed his help… and whom he failed. Struggling with his memories changing and facing his own mortality, Holmes picks up his pen to give his last case its proper ending; and his waning life a sense of completion.
Focusing entirely on Ian McKellen’s Holmes, this trailer promises a moving tale — and, even in his last days, a fresh look at everyone’s favourite consulting detective.
The script isn’t based on any of Conan Doyle’s stories, but instead adapted from Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind (published in 2005). Directed by Bill Condon, it also stars Laura Linney, Frances de la Tour, and Milo Parker.