Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave us our favorite detective on October 14, 1892. Since then, we’ve seen some memorable faces take on the iconic role. It’s no secret that Sherlock Holmes is one of the best (and given the latest adaptations from Netflix, Enola is right there with him). Let’s take a look at five Sherlock Holmes adaptations we still obsess over.
Some familiar faces reprised the role of Sherlock Holmes over the years. Whether for film or television series, Sherlock Holmes takes on many faces. We’ve seen Henry Cavill, Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, and many others. Some adaptations even put their own spin on the classic detective story by adding more contemporary elements and even playing around with characters and storylines. Do you have a favorite? Keep reading to see if it is on the list!
1. Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes in Enola Holmes
With a second movie in the works, Enola Holmes took us all by storm with its premiere on Netflix. This feminist adaptation features Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes and Millie Bobby Brown as his younger sister Enola Holmes. Previously Netflix announced that the second film would hit Netflix November 4, 2022 with Cavill and Brown returning for their roles. The brother-sister dynamic is a great addition to the Holmes storyline. Not to mention it makes for a great film!
2. Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock TV Series
Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Holmes is among the first I ever watched. This BBC mystery has 13 episodes divided into four three-part series from 2010-2017. The show is definitely more contemporary. Set in present-day London, Sherlock’s cases are updated for the time. As of 2022, the show technically hasn’t fully ended. Benedict Cumberbatch said he’d be more than willing to do a fifth part, but nothing has been released yet. Fingers crossed!
3. Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes (2009 film)
Robert Downey Jr.’s action-packed Sherlock adaptation is sure to take you on a wild ride. Robert Downey Jr. played the iconic detective solving crime along side Dr. Watson (Jude Law) in two films, with a third in development. Deadline reported in April 2022 that he signed a deal with HBO Max to make two Sherlock Holmes spin-offs. He’s always expressed interest in expanding the Holmes universe and seems to be on track to do it!
4. Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Sherlock Holmes in Netflix’s The Irregulars
This Netflix series is unlike any Sherlock Holmes adaptation. Henry Lloyd-Hughes takes on the role of Holmes in this series with a completely new look and feel to the character. The thriller follows a group of troubled teenagers known as the Baker Street Irregulars. Dr. Watson ropes them into helping him and his mysterious partner, Sherlock Holmes solve supernatural crimes. While Netflix announced the cancellation of the series after one season, it is still worth the watch!
5. Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes in CBS’s Elementary (TV series)
Another twist to the detective story comes in Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Watson. Not only does the show make Dr. Watson a woman, but it is also set in present-day New York. In the CBS adaptation, Sherlock Holmes is disgraced and flees London for good. His father assigns him a sober companion (after he gets out of rehab), and it is the one and only Dr. Watson. The show ran for seven seasons and is a must-watch for Holmes fans!
Did your favorite make the list? Sherlock Holmes adaptations will surely keep coming, and there are no complaints here.
Looking to read more about the famous detective? Click here to see the latest trailer for Netflix’s Enola Holmes 2.