Original story art for: 2009 Sherlock Holmes film.
Lionel Wigram was producer for of the 2009 film and also created the original storyline. Wigram commissioned comic book and commercial artist John Watkiss to illustrate his version of Sherlock Holmes. Fourteen illustrations were created in total.
Despite numerous sources on the internet, Watkiss never created a comic book or graphic novel.
Dude. This is intense.
Yes, the original concept for the Sherlock Holmes movies (that were eventually directed by Guy Ritchie) was FAR more comic-book superhero-ish than what eventually ended up in the films. I’m trying to think of a recent character to compare Wigram’s original concept of Holmes to, and I keep coming up with, alas, Abraham Lincoln in “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” or Hansel in “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.” Yep, it was that kind of a concept. The character was pretty cliched - sort of a handsome bruiser with brains, shy around women but of course attracted to the devilish Irene. And the script was full of huge, clunky action setpieces. It wasn’t really Sherlock Holmes. This guy was more interested in brawling than deducing, and the plotline had him falling for the villain’s occult beliefs. In fact, there was “real” magic involved, not make-believe magic that Sherlock Holmes would NEVER fall for.
A ton of rewrites were done, and there’s a list of names attached as screenwriters now. That’s usually a sign of trouble. But the movie was saved — and really came to life — when they landed director Guy Ritchie and cast Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. I have an early script and a fairly late one (as well as some of this concept art) and even the late one is hugely different from what actually ended up onscreen.
And what is onscreen is a hundred times BETTER. Everyone knows that on an RDJ movie there’s a lot of “rewriting” that goes on on the set, and my hat is off to him (and to Ritchie for knowing it was improving the script and letting it happen). Somebody on that set loved Sherlock Holmes enough to know that magic isn’t real, that Holmes would never believe that it is, and that his drive throughout the movie should be to prove that magic does not, in fact, exist. The actors added the flirty chemistry between Holmes and Watson that’s been the main attraction of these films for so many viewers. And in RDJ’s hands, the character of Holmes gained a gravitas and a vulnerability that is in no way evident in the script.
Maybe magic DOES exist, because something magical happened on that set that changed a very mediocre movie script into something memorable, engaging, funny and classic.
(And to his credit, Wigram cheerfully went along with it all and has reaped the rewards — it’s not the first time an original concept has gone through a ton of changes to get to the screen, and he’s a pro and remains successfully a producer of the movie series. Which is a lesson to all of us writers — oftentimes good editing and good rewrites will transform your story for the better, and often in ways you never could have conceived…it’s good to be open-minded and collaborative, especially with screenplays.)
I’m looking particularly for the Downey movie Sherlock and John ship name or whatever, is there a tag that mainly for them or are they all called just Johnlock?
Tags for the Downey movies: #RDJ Holmes #Ritchieverse #Ritchie!Holmes etc, where they always are Holmes and Watson, so Holmes/Watson would be the ship. On AO3 you can search fics under the Sherlock Holmes (Downey films) category and the relationship Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Not Johnlock for them.
It’s so annoying when I browse the Ritchie Holmes tags and there are people like “OF COURSE BENNY IS TEH AWESOMEST SHERLOCK HOLMES EVR but I guess RDJ is kinda okay too?”
did you really have to tag it
See, I think that people REALLY love Rdj Holmes but they first have to ask permission from their fellow bbc sherlock fans to say IT. And they probably would tell them:
WTF the BBC fandom is now claiming that “high-functioning sociopath” is from the original books??
Hmmm maybe because some of them didn’t even read the books?
Watson fell in love with Holmes.
Holmes fell in love with Watson.
But somewhere along the way - something went terribly wrong.
I seriously need to start working on part 2 of this.
If I cannot understand my friend’s silence, I will never get to understand his words.
- John Enoch Powell
John Watson and the Holmes brothers.
Do you think Holmes ever rushes back to 221b Baker Street, satisfied with himself because he finally solved a difficult case and ready to tell Watson about it, wanting to see his stunned face, hear the compliments and applaud by his friend. Until he realises that there’s no one waiting for him at home anymore.
RDJ: If Holmes and Watson – if we’ve done a female version of it – right? (…) I could only understand the film in the context of them being lesbians.
El País, Spain, 2010.
Don’t forget that lighthouse in the second film too!