Robert Downey, Jr. has signed-on to portray Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famed super-sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, in the upcoming film by the same name. Guy Ritchie will direct.
Downey showed early interest in the flick and signed-on after seeing the script. Ritchie intends to incorporate elements of the Sherlock Holmes comic, in which Holmes was portrayed as a muscle-bound gumshoe who just happened to be far more brilliant than his counterparts.
Interestingly, Sherlock Holmes tales were originally printed in trades and newspaper sections sometimes called "penny dreadfuls." These gave rise to the pulp magazines of the early 1900s, which gave-way to comic books in the 1930s. The first sequential art in comics form - that is to say, art presented in sequence to relate a story is an ancient form, but the first cartoon (not animated) - was the comic strip, The Yellow Kid, who was a character from a series of cartoons by Richard Outcault. The Yellow Kid was published in several newspapers, but rose to fame under William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal American, which - although it reported "real" news - was akin to our contemporary tabloids.
The first mystery story is attributed to Edgar Allan Poe, meaning the mystery genre (along with science-fiction and true crime) was started by an American!
Funnyman, Judd Apatow, is also working on a Sherlock Holmes movie, starring Sacha Baren Cohen and Will Ferrell.
© C Harris Lynn, 2008
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