Two Titanic Talents. Both at Critical Career Crossings. Whoever wins, we muse..
Scheduling delays aside (For reasons we all know to do with that beer synonym nasty bug ruining the universe)..
..Sherlock Holmes 3 has been announced and ought to be in a state of pre-production. Assuming that we do not get a resurrection of Jared Harris’ (excellent, btw) Moriarty? Then director Dexter Fletcher (stepping in for Guy Ritchie, still producing) has to preside over new villainies to challenge Mr Holmes.
There are of course other Holmes baddies beyond Moriarty. Henry ‘Holy’ Peter. John Woodley. Charles Ryder. The Red Headed League. The Hound. I could go on. And there are endless fan-fictions and creative spins on the mythology. The idea of a dark side doppleganger / lost other brother (sister, in the godawful, overrated, metatextual mess that was the BBC’s Moffat and Gatiss era Sherlock).
My point here is not so much which villain they play as who they place in play to play them. And if that sounds like a Jack Sparrow line? Good. Because that’s my point. precisely. Depp vs Downey. It’s fate. Kinda like everyone wishes they had made the Expendables films a decade earlier? These two guys are BORN to do battle on screen.
They are both at critical turning points, career wise. One post Iron man, the other, post Pirates. Both are consummate actors, in need of fresh challenge, whilst also aiming to stay on top and relevant, presumably? Shared vintage and ups and downs and love/hate relationship with the Hollywood system.
Then there is the shared penchant for all things English. These guys are more English than the English! So having them in a steampunk Victorian face-off? It’s box office and creative gold dust. It is MEANT to be. An innate friendly rivalry.
There is of course a question of who wins. My money is on a draw. Maybe Depp turns good at the end or something? Onscreen Downey tends to play WINNERS, of course. Depp by contrast takes a pride in playing a sympathetic underdog. There are clues, already. The game is afoot!..