The director talks Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
After the success of 2009s Sherlock Holmes it was a foregone conclusion that the cast would be back for more period adventures. The production also called back director Guy Ritchie forSherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, who was previously more familiar for working on films like Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. He’s made the transition to family fare brilliantly and talks here about trying to make a film that tops the original Sherlock HolmesQ: Where does this story begin? The characters have gone in different directions.
GR: Yes. Sherlock Holmes has spent the last couple of years salivating over the prospect of having found a nemesis that's worthy of his repertoire of skills. So, he's worked himself up into a frenzy and is, if not careful, going to recede into madness.
John Watson is going to play his moral and sane anchor and pull him back from the brink of genius and insanity. I suppose that’s the role that Sherlock Holmes and John Watson have had and will continue to have.Q: This film is bigger and grander than the first. How important was it to ratchet up the action?
GR: Obviously, the necessary requisites are to make it a better film than the first one. There is a natural momentum with Sherlock Holmes and John Watson and so much of the film is about the marriage, if you will, between these two. That's really the spine of the entertainment and the story is the relationship between these two; then the plot is really the flesh that goes on top of that spine.
So there is a natural momentum to making a second and a third and a fourth one. I'm not saying we're going to do that or I'm going to do that; but there is a momentum that's organic to that. So it only seemed natural if the first one was financially successful that we'd bounce back and end up doing another one.
The experience of the first one, for all sorts of reasons, was so positive for me that I was just “a pig in poop,” with enthusiasm to return to this arena of which I know something about now. But I had to make it a more extreme version of what we had last time. In other words, I had to make it smarter and I had to make the action not too predictable.Q: Most people who are familiar with Sherlock Holmes know about the Professor Moriarty character. How important was it to get the casting right and how did you come across Jared Harris for the role?
GR: Dealing with the manifestation of Moriarty is a tricky one because he's arguably the most infamous villain in the history of literature. So it's in no small way a significant challenge trying to portray this chap. I found it easier finding an actor that not many people knew about really. So there were some names that were bandied around, and it was collectively decided that it was easier to go with someone that we didn't know too much about.
Jared ticked the requisite boxes of intellect and talent to portray, not too overtly, a super villain.Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is out on DVD and Triple play blu-ray now.
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