Much has been made of CBS’s decision to produce a modern version of the Sherlock Holmes story (Elementary, starring Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Watson wait what?), mostly because there already is a show about Sherlock Holmes on the BBC and it is titled Sherlock and it is excellent and it doesn’t have anyone doing a sh-tload of CBS things like putting on and/or taking off sunglasses while delivering corny one-liners. Fans of the original were justifiably upset about it, and it turns out they are not alone, as this interview with Sherlock star and delightful-name-haver Benedict Cumberbatch makes very clear:
What do you make of the new US modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation, Elementary?
Jonny [Lee Miller] asked me if I was all right with him doing it. I said, “What are the similarities?” And he went, “Well it’s modern…” I went, “Oh.” Then he said, “Lucy Liu’s going to play Joan Watson…” And I went, “Oh.” I got hold of the pilot script just to check it out. I don’t know, we’ll see. I think there’s room for us both to coexist. I don’t feel threatened by it and I wish him the best, which is as diplomatic as I can be.
At this point, presumably, Benedict Cumberbatch poured himself some brandy, loosened up his ascot, took a big ol’ swig and said “F-ck it,” because then he said this:
It’s very odd. I did say, “Well, I’d prefer you didn’t do it but you’ve got a kid to feed, a nice house in LA and a wife to keep in good clothes.” When you get used to a certain standard of living and they waft a pay cheque at you, what are you going to do? I think Jonny was like, “Mate, I’ve got the f*cking mountain to climb here [to reach the acclaim of Sherlock], you’ve got nothing to fear.” I wish him the best of luck, but I’m a bit cynical about why they’ve chosen to do it and why they cast him.
I love that paragraph so much. It’s all so backhanded and terrific. “Sure it’s okay if you want to do it, Jonny. I mean, I wouldn’t do it because I’m not a total sellout hack with a gold-digging wife who needs news shoes or whatever, but, really, go ahead. I don’t know why they’d want to do it, and why they cast you of all people, but, no, definitely, best of luck. Cheers.”
British people are the best.
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