Christopher Plummer has been commenting on Sir Ian McKellen's performance as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings movies, and with one of those actors playing Holmes in an upcoming movie, while the other has played him in the past, it makes one also wonder how things would have played out had history been reversed.
What if Ian McKellen had somehow gotten the part of Sherlock Holmes in Murder By Decree? (And the short Silver Blaze.)
And what if Christopher Plummer had held back on Sherlock until the upcoming Mr. Holmes?
Two actors of the same generation, coming to Sherlock Holmes at different points in their career just show how, unlike James Bond, Harry Potter, or so many other characters, Sherlock Holmes isn't limited to one age or one point in his life. He can be Sir Ian McKellen's age in Mr. Holmes, or he can be Nicholas Rowe's age in Young Sherlock Holmes. He can be Benedict Cumberbatch's age or Tom Baker's age or . . . well, have we hit a limit yet? I bet a good director could get Sherlock Holmes out of any actor of an age that can speak. (And if we want to go the Look Who's Talking telepathic baby route, a good director isn't needed at all.)
It would be fascinating to see a graph of all the ages of all the actors who played Sherlock Holmes at the time they played Sherlock Holmes . . . and then cross referenced with the year they played Holmes. As time goes on, we know he's getting younger in some productions . . . and yet, we still have Sir Ian McKellen coming in at age seventy-five.
Interestingly, our female Sherlocks are starting their chart a bit younger than the males did. And that will be a whole 'nother graph of interesting, but like the boys, I bet there won't be an age restriction there either.