Home Entertainment Sir Ian McKellen is going to play an old Sherlock Holmes in Bill Condon's A SLIGHT TRICK OF THE MIND

Sir Ian McKellen is going to play an old Sherlock Holmes in Bill Condon's A SLIGHT TRICK OF THE MIND

2 min read

Just when you thought Sir Ian McKellen couldn’t possibly be any cooler – the man is already Gandalf and Magneto, and he’s best friends with Captain Jean Luc Picard, whose wedding he’s going to perform – this tidbit of news comes flying in off the interwebs. McKellen, apparently not content to just play two old white guy pop culture icons, has been cast in the leading role of A Slight Trick of the Mind, which will see him as retired Sherlock Holmes, coming back for one last case.

And no, it won’t be to figure out why Frodo didn’t just fly to Mordor on the giant eagles!


The film, to be penned by Jeffrey Hatcher (The Dutchess), is an adaptation of Mitch Cullin’s novel of the same name, and will find the retired detective living in the English countryside and “haunted by a 50-year-old unsolved case”. Deadline reports that the film will see McKellen reteaming with his Gods and Monsters director, Bill Condon, which just leads to all kinds of useless, but totally geektastic trivia: Condon’s latest is the Wikileaks film, The Fifth Estate, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, best known of course for his titular role on BBC’s Sherlock. Cumberbatch also plays the dragon, Smaug, in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogywhich of course stars Ian McKellen in probably his most well recognised role as the wizard Gandalf.

Like I said, useless but cool. And cool is exactly what I think of the casting of McKellen as Holmes, as I think he will be magnificent in the role of the great detective, not quite in control of all his mental powers. Here’s the official blurb from Cullin’s novel:

It is 1947, and the long-retired Sherlock Holmes, now 93, lives in a remote Sussex farmhouse with his housekeeper and her young son. He tends to his bees, writes in his journal, and grapples with the diminishing powers of his mind. But in the twilight of his life, as people continue to look to him for answers, Holmes revisits a case that may provide him with answers of his own to questions he didn’t even know he was asking–about life, about love, and about the limits of the mind’s ability to know. A novel of exceptional grace and literary sensitivity, A Slight Trick of the Mind is a brilliant imagining of our greatest fictional detective and a stunning inquiry into the mysteries of human connection.

Last Updated: September 6, 2013

One Comment

  1. The answer to that question is, “because Frodo is stupid.”


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