As anticipation for the sequel to "Sherlock Holmes" mounts, another detail has been made public: Stephen Fry will play the part of Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's older brother.
There are a number of interesting tie-ins that make this particularly interesting, but we'll start with the announcement first. Mr. Fry himself broke the news on the Danny Baker show on BBC 5 Live, and the news was immediately shared by Bleeding Cool. The direct quote from Fry was:
I’m playing Mycroft in the sequel to the Sherlock Holmes film Guy Ritchie directed with Robert Downey Jr., and that sort of part is fun, but just once in a while to play a genuine all round sort of lead figure with complexity and tragedy and wit and all the sort of things that Oscar [Wilde] had was a once in a lifeftime thrill.The New York Times (via Reuters) also reported on it and Fry confirmed it on his own Twitter account:
We think it's an inspired casting decision for a number of reasons:
- Fry has often played opposite Hugh Laurie (now on the Sherlock Holmes-insipired House, MD), including the braniac gentleman's gentleman in Jeeves & Wooster, who has often been compared to one or both of the Holmes brothers.
- He played Oscar Wilde in the 1997 film Wilde. Wilde made an appearance in The West End Horror, the follow-on novel to The Seven Per-Cent Solution by Nicolas Meyer, BSI ("A Fine Morocco Case").
- Mr. Fry was also deeply interested in the bequest of Richard Lancelyn Green to the city of Portsmouth and he narrated the BBC 4 documentary "The Man Who Loved Sherlock Holmes." We initially referenced him in the November 19, 2006 entry "Even His Voice Was Gentle" [IDEN].
- We know that Holmes referred to his brother as "one of the queerest men" in London. That term can be taken in a couple of ways - one being quirky and the other meaning gay. Well, Stephen Fry's IMDb biography includes both kinds of references: "Writer, actor, comedian, doer of good works, excellent good friend to the famous and not...Emma Thompson has characterised her friend as '90 percent gay, 10 percent other.'" He is also credited as "Cricket fan, Sherlockian, charter member Groucho Club (Soho)."
- Stephen Fry is a noted author in his own right, so we can be sure that he is a reader as well (and we're assuming this means the Canon). He has written a number of books, including The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within, Moab Is My Washpot, The Hippopotamus, The Liar, and most recently Stephen Fry in America: Fifty States and the Man Who Set Out to See Them All.
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