Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law no longer feel anything like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. If you have been privy to the world of Sherlock, as seen through the eyes of Steven Moffat and his team at the BBC, you know exactly what I’m talking about. With the release of the first official image from Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes 2 (seen above), we are reminded that there’s another Holmes out there in the world who is not played by Benedict Cumberbatch. It feels off, to say the least.

I’m speaking, of course, of the BBC series Sherlock, three ninety minute episodes recently released on DVD and Blu-ray here in the States (read my glowing recommendation for the set here). It’s smart, it’s witty and it treats Sherlock Holmes like the lovable, self-involved sociopath that he truly is. And it’s set in the modern day, which could have been a challenge. But Moffat and co-creator Mark Gatiss pulled it off splendidly. They roped in a dynamic duo — newcomer Benedict Cumberbatch, a young Alan Rickman-type, and Martin Freeman, best known for his lead role in the British version of The Office, as Watson. It’s rich with story, full of energy (and chemistry between the two leads), and in the end it made Guy Ritchie’s Holmes look like a Looney Toons version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work.

Now we are reminded that Warner Bros. will be putting out another Ritchie product. And even the presence of Dragon Tattoo girl Noomi Rapace (in her first American role) doesn’t make up for it — this just isn’t the Sherlock Holmes story that’s interesting anymore. That said, it will hit theaters on December 16, 2011. We can only hope to see more of Cumberbatch and Freeman before then.

Image courtesy of Rope of Silicon

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