Saturday, January 23, 2010

is holmes stuck in the closet?


 image source: Movie Maven
Some Holmes fans panicked when Robert Downey Jr. expressed the thought that Sherlock Holmes could actually be gay by comments he made on David Letterman's show.  So did Andrea Plunkett, the woman who owns the U.S. copyright to the Holmes stories.  As Total Film's interview with Plunkett revealed:
“I hope this is just an example of Mr Downey's black sense of humour," she says. "It would be drastic, but I would withdraw permission for more films to be made if they feel that is a theme they wish to bring out in the future."
 Now I must ask:
  1. Why is there a U.S. copyright for Sherlock Holmes, and how can I get in on that ownership?
  2. Will it really affect a sequel the movie that much if Sherlock Holmes is, indeed, a homosexual? 
  3. How much "bromance" will count as too much for Plunkett to withdraw permission to make a sequel?
I understand Plunkett's fears to an extent.  Sherlock Holmes was never really written to be an obvious homosexual, and some of the "bromance" in the movie was not actually in the original stories.  She wants to remain loyal to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works.  I for one liked the bromance parts because they demonstrated just how close of a working/living relationship these two have.  That doesn't necessarily mean that one or the other or both are necessarily gay.

But movies do have their own degree of interpretation, and with a character as well known and often portrayed as Holmes that's not unreasonable for even the actor playing Holmes to explore the idea of homosexuality.  If we're talking about loyalty to what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote, Holmes is known to not be attracted to most women--in fact, Irene Adler seems to be the only one he is truly interested in, but that may even be from an analytical level rather than a sexual or emotional one.  Homosexuality could explain this.  As long as it isn't some sort of blaring Victorian Brokeback Mountain thing then I don't see a problem with that and staying true to the original stories.

Here's the clip from Letterman that raised Plunkett's ire:

And a clip from an interview with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law about the relationship between the Victorian detective and his sidekick:

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