By Mike Fleming Jr., Variety
After faring so well together in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are re-teaming in another Sony Pictures comedy. They’ll star in Holmes & Watson, with Etan Cohen directing a script that is inspired by the Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tale, but with a PG-13 comic bent similar to their past collaborations. Ferrell and Reilly have been looking for several years to find another opportunity to work together, and now they’ve got it. Ferrell will play Holmes and Reilly will play his faithful wing man, Watson.
The studio originally bought the script with Ferrell attached to do the movie with Sacha Baron Cohen, who costarred with Ferrell and Reilly in Talladega Nights. That stalled. The project came back together very quickly over the past few weeks under production president Sanford Panitch and chief Tom Rothman; when scheduling slots opened for all parties, Sony seized the moment. They are planning to go into production right after Thanksgiving. The film will be produced by Mosaic and Gary Sanchez. Cohen, whose comic scripts include Idiocracy and Tropic Thunder, made his directorial debut on Get Hard, the comedy that starred Ferrell and Kevin Hart.
Now, this is hardly the only Sherlock Holmes project in circulation. There is the Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes franchise with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, the CBS series Elementary with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu and the Benedict Cumberbatch series Sherlock. The feeling is those iterations have stoked worldwide awareness for the characters, and hopefully will create an appetite for a full out comic version of the super sleuths, anchored by a couple of stars who are two for two in the hit column together.
Jonathan Kadin is overseeing for Columbia, Chris Henchy and Jessica Elbaum are overseeing for Gary Sanchez. Ferrell, who is coming off the hit Daddy’s Home, is repped by UTA and Mosaic; Reilly, next seen in Kong: Skull Island, is WME and Framework, and Cohen is CAA and Mosaic.