02/24/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sherlock Holmes Gets A Makeover

The Sherlock Holmes of "Sherlock Holmes," which is scheduled for release on Nov. 13, will not be wearing a deerstalker hat. Nor will he be wearing an Inverness overcoat, the kind with the dashing cloak that hangs over the shoulders as extra protection against the English rain. Sometimes -- as in one fight scene -- he will not even be wearing a shirt. (This gives Mr. Downey a chance to show off his admirably chiseled abs.)

Sure, he will still be smarter than everyone within a three-planet radius, and he will retain his uncanny ability to intuit whole life stories from the tiniest speck of dust on a shoe. But he will do those things while being a man of action, a chaser, shooter and pummeler of criminals -- "like James Bond in 1891," Joel Silver, one of the film's producers, said last fall.

Lionel Wigram, who conceived the story and is also a producer of the film, said that reinventing Holmes as an action hero made perfect sense. "I never agreed with the idea of the fairly stuffy Edwardian-type gentleman," Mr. Wigram said. "It wasn't my idea of Sherlock Holmes."

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