Guy Ritchie's latest gangster yarn, RocknRolla
, won't even be in theaters for another six weeks, but he already has turned his attentions to his next project, a version of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes for contemporary tastes.
"It will be a very big production, visceral and intellectual," Ritchie says. "His brilliance will percolate into the action."
The expected 2010 Warner release will be set in the olden days, he says, but the emphasis will be as much on Holmes' physical prowess as it is on his keen powers of deduction.
"His intellect was as much of a curse as it was a blessing," Ritchie says. "He was a deeply layered character."
No word on the villain yet, but there will be a love interest based on Conan Doyle's Irene Adler. Casting is expected to be finished in six or so weeks.
Ritchie already has been lucky to snag Robert Downey Jr., hot off of this summer's Iron Man
and Tropic Thunder
, as his lead.
"His wife, Susan, was a producer on RocknRolla
, and he was one of the first people who saw it and was a big fan," the filmmaker explains. "He wanted to do something together, and this was a natural." As for Downey's English accent, "it's flawless."
Ritchie has no worries about producer Judd Apatow's competing Sherlock Holmes with Sacha Baron Cohen. As he says: "They don't even have a script yet. We are way ahead."