Since August 19th, it has been confirmed that Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly will co-star in a comedic take on Sherlock Holmes in “Holmes and Watson.”
Let me reiterate: Will Ferrell. Sherlock Holmes. Comedy.
But when you try to make Sherlock Holmes into a comedy, you get a mystery with a flair of comedy, and here’s why you don’t want that.
First, let’s take a look at Ferrell and Reilly’s careers, respectively:
Will Ferrell has been the spotlight of American comedy in recent years, and in his prime time from 2003 to 2008, it’s impossible not to recognize the prestige of Ferrell’s comedic gold. Here’s the thing: that was ten years ago. Now, in 2016, Ferrell has degraded his act for audiences so much that he’s either one extreme or the other, and he can’t go in-between anymore. Not to mention his failure in keeping up with modern humor and instead trying to bring up old jokes again and again and again, just makes for a slight decrease in Ferrell’s popularity.
John C. Reilly, unlike Ferrell, actually does a decent job of branching outside of comedy. With roles in Guardians of the Galaxy, Wreck It Ralph, and Boogie Nights, Reilly’s career isn’t half bad. But when you put him with Ferrell, suddenly you find him in movies that only get half of the good reviews that Reilly’s other movies had. So what does this tell us about a mash-up with Ferrell and Sherlock Holmes?
Next, let’s look at a previous attempt to make Holmes a comedy: The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, starring Gene Wilder. Made in 1975, the movie starred Sherlock Holmes‘ other brother Sigerson Holmes who tries to solve a mystery while Sherlock and Dr. Watson are away taking care of a different mystery. A musical as well as a comedy, this film earned $20 million in the box office, which makes it equivalent to approximately $89 million due to today’s inflation rate.
Sherlock Holmes in 2009 made $524 million in the box office. So, even with today’s inflation rates, Wilder’s directorial debut film would have bombed.
Last, but most certainly not least, is the most obvious reason of them all: Sherlock Holmes is not meant to be a comedy. Sherlock, as seen in the novel, would have no time for such antics, instead he would have the mystery solved and still have the time for tea. Psychologically, as BBC’s Sherlock has pointed out: it is physically impossible for Holmes to have any kind of capacity for stupid humor of any sort. Wit and cleverness, yes. Stupid jokes like Will Ferrell’s? Absolutely not.
For those of you Will Ferrell fans or John C. Reilly fans, I sincerely apologize. But I think these two have better things to do than to try to shake the integrity and dignity of one of fiction’s most famous and elegant detectives.
What do you think? Should Sherlock Holmes be a comedy?
YouTube Channel: SherlockHolmesFan314
Featured image via The Daily Truffle