Might Sherlock fans one day get to see Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman sleuthing it up on the big screen? Given the episodes of the Conan Doyle update are already feature-length and Sherlock now boasts two genuine film stars, that seemed like a reasonable question to ask cocreator Steven Moffat when EW visited the show last year for this week’s cover story. “We don’t rule anything out,” Moffat replied.
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Nearly all the recurring players on the Masterpiece on PBS show Sherlock are based on fictional folks found in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Holmes tales. The most obvious exception? Molly Hooper, the morgue registrar played by actress Louise Brealey. In fact, the show’s creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss at first only intended the Holmes-assisting Hooper to appear in the show’s first episode. But over the years, Molly has become a genuinely beloved character as viewers tracked her unrequited crush on Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular sleuth and her predictably doomed romance with Andrew Scott’s villainous Moriarty.
While literally dozens of actors have played the role of Sherlock Holmes it is now hard to imagine anyone but Benedict Cumberbatch portraying the super sleuth in Sherlock, the subject of this week’s Entertainment Weekly cover story. But Cumberbatch thought twice when Sherlock cocreators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss originally offered him the part which, over the past few years, has propelled him from relatively unknown character actor to global star. Why? Precisely because he was concerned the role might do just that.
“My reservation was ‘Well, this is a very iconic character, there will be a lot of attention on it,’” says Cumberbatch. “This was before I had had any significant success [but] I knew there would still be a lot of focus on it. And while I had done work, it wasn’t stepping into the populist limelight like playing a character like Holmes. So I did have a pause for thought.”
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