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Trivia for Holmes and Watson

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  • In 2008, Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell were once attached to star as Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The project re-entered development in 2016 with Ferrell as Holmes and John C. Reilly as Watson.
  • As of 2018, this is the seventh adaptation during the decade to be based on Sherlock Holmes lore, after: Sherlock (2010), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Elementary (2012), Mr. Holmes (2015) and Sherlock Gnomes (2018).
  • January 2017 filming location is Hampton Court Palace, London.
  • This marks the fourth collaboration of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, after Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Step Brothers (2008), and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013).
  • The movie is based on a Saturday Night Live (1975) sketch in which Will Ferrell starred.
  • John C. Reilly worked with previous Watson player Robert Duvall in Days of Thunder (1990), as did Will Ferrell in Kicking & Screaming (2005). Reilly also appeared in Chicago (2002) with Lucy Liu, and The Aviator (2004) with Jude Law.
  • Hugh Laurie's comedy partner, Stephen Fry, played Mycroft in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). Laurie played Dr. Gregory House in House (2004), a character who, according to Creator David Shore, was developed as a modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes.
  • Village Roadshow Pictures' third Sherlock Holmes film after Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
  • Ralph Fiennes' breakout role was in Schindler's List (1993), where he worked opposite Sir Ben Kingsley. Kingsley played Dr. Watson in Without a Clue (1988). He also appeared in James Bond films as M, a character previous played by Bernard Lee, grandfather of Jonny Lee Miller, who plays Sherlock on Elementary (2012).
  • John C. Reilly appeared in The Aviator (2004) with Jude Law. Law plays Watson in the film franchise with Robert Downey, Jr.
  • Ralph Fiennes is now the fifth actor to play Professor Moriarty who has previously worked for Director Steven Spielberg. Paul Freeman (Without a Clue (1988)) and Anthony Higgins (Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)) appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Andrew Scott appeared in Band of Brothers (2001), and Jared Harris appeared in Lincoln (2012).
  • Second role that Ralph Fiennes has shared with John Huston. They both played James Bond's boss, M. Huston played the role in Casino Royale (1967).
  • Christophe Beck wrote a score for this film which was not used.
  • Ralph Fiennes co-starred in Spectre (2015) with Andrew Scott, who played Moriarty on Sherlock (2010).
  • Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly previously worked together in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) and Step Brothers (2008).
  • Rebecca Hall co-starred with two actors who have previously played Sherlock Holmes. She was in Starter for 10 (2006) with Benedict Cumberbatch, who played the role on Sherlock (2010), and in Iron Man 3 (2013) with Robert Downey Jr., who played the role in Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011).
  • Ralph Fiennes and Steve Coogan have both played the role of Hades in two separate Greek Myth movies, with Fiennes in the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans along with its sequel Wrath of the Titans, while Coogan portrayed him in the movie adaptation of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
  • This is the only Sherlock Holmes film that as of 2018 has a 0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • According to Deadline, after disastrous test screenings, Sony attempted to sell the film to Netflix, which declined.
  • John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan both star in this film. They also star together in Stan and Ollie (2018).
  • During the opening days of its Christmas 2018 release, exhibitors reported an astonishing number of walk-outs.
  • John C. Reilly also appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), making him one of five Watsons to also appear in a Marvel Comics adaptation. John Rhys-Davies appeared in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989), Ben Kingsley in Iron Man 3 (2013), Martin Freeman in Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Black Panther (2018), and Jude Law in Captain Marvel (2019).
  • Speaking on the Empire Podcast #346 (11 January 2019) about the quality of the film, Steve Coogan, who played Gustav Klinger, said "I think in 20 years time when the dust has settled and people are able to look at Holmes and Watson objectively, I think people will say 'It's still rubbish".
  • The North American and European cuts of the film have different openings. In the North American cut, Holmes and Watson meet each other at high school when they are teenagers. In the European cut, an adult Holmes accidentally saves an adult Watson from committing suicide.
  • Many critics decried the film for being horribly unfunny and shockingly incompetent on a technical level, with sloppy editing and several shots out of focus.
  • The song "Bom Bom" is also featured another Sherlock Holmes based story. It was on the TV series Elementary (2012) in the first season's The Deductionist (2013).
  • Actor Billy Zane has a cameo in this film aboard the Titanic; an homage to his role in the 1997 film about the Titanic.
  • Queen Victoria died in 1901. She could have never been on the the Ttitanic since it was built in 1912.


  • John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan also star in the movie Stan & Ollie (2018).
  • Moriarty has a daughter in this film. He is traditionally portrayed as unmarried, with no children.
  • Sherlock's brother, Mycroft, is played by Hugh Laurie in this film and by Stephen Fry in the Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes films. Fry and Laurie have been a comedy team since 1980 and friends since university.
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