Contemplating this evening's 221B Con panel on "Fandom Generation" and the impact that BBC Sherlock has had on our hobby, I suddenly remembered the movies Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.
Very popular movies featuring major movie stars, and at the time, they seemed to be part of inspiring a major boom of Sherlock Holmes in popular culture. But a mere seven years later, is anyone still talking about Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson? Not if you look at the panel list for 221B Con.
And, looking back, even at the height of the Downey movies' popularity, were they inspiring events like 221B Con, causing new Sherlockians to join old societies, causing anyone to go "Robert Downey Jr. is MY Sherlock Holmes!"?
Now that the director of those movies has moved on to King Arthur movies, and you can see a similar pattern of Big Action Movie adaptation happening, and now that Season Four of Sherlock ended with some crazy action movie stuff that fans were not entirely thrilled with, it's pretty easy to see what elements made those two movies less "sticky" with Sherlockians than BBC Sherlock or even the Granada TV series.
Once you were done with the roller coaster ride of a big screen action movie, the momentary thrill of exploding trees or collapsing ship construction, there was nowhere else to go. Sure, they had Mycroft and Irene and Moriarty, but beyond the names they didn't give you any reason to go back to the original stories for more details. I think, at this point, I have probably spent as much time considering Asylum Films' Sherlock Holmes (or "Sherlock Holmes and Dinosaurs") as the RDJ pair of movies.
Saw the movies. Enjoyed them. But not coming to 221B Con because of anything that happened in their aftermath. The RDJ movies might have even got a little more fan attention over the last few years because of BBC Sherlock. (As has Sherlock's American step-brother from CBS TV.) It's more than a little ironic that Sherlock's fourth season finale had action movie elements of the sort that brought the RDJ movies big box office and little fan endurance.
On with the weekend!