Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Laurie to Make ‘Holmes and Watson’ Even Fancier, Britisher

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With every new casting update, the gestating detective spoof Holmes and Watson gets a little bit better. Casting former Step Brothers Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as bumbling iterations of Sherlock Holmes and his man Watson was an inspired move to begin with, but landing a supporting cast including Rebecca Hall, Kelly MacdonaldThe Trip cutup Rob Brydon, and comedy’s hidden gem Lauren Lapkus sweetened the deal considerably. An already-strong cast officially entered ‘stacked’ territory today with the addition of two heavy hitters to the cast, come to lend an air of British refinement to what will surely be undignified proceedings.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that the game is officially afoot for Ralph Fiennes and Hugh Laurie, the latest actors to sign on the dotted line for Holmes and Watson. Both coming off of relatively hot years in the art-film world (Fiennes dominated Luca Guadagnino’s decadent A Bigger Splash, and Reilly was a deadpan delight in Yorgos Lanthimos’ black comedy The Lobster), the two men have taken as-of-now unspecified roles. If I was the betting type, however, I’d lay down quite a few pounds that one of the two will take on Holmes’ constant foe, Professor Moriarty. The film has yet to cast an antagonist, Moriarty’s name has been conspicuously absent from the cast list, and either seasoned performer could bring the required gravitas and screen presence to the role.

This marks the second directorial effort from longtime screenwriter Etan Coen, who got his start in 2015 with Get Hard. The lineup is pretty hype-worthy, though let’s not get too hot on the trail just yet — the projected release lands in 2018. That gives Ferrell plenty of time to peruse pipe-and-deerstalker combos.

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