August 18, 2008

In Frame for Star Role


LIVERPOOL is being lined up as a location for a major new blockbuster by film director Guy Ritchie.

The Snatch and Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels director, who is married to Madonna, has been spotted in the city this week checking out areas for a big screen version of Sherlock Holmes.

So far, he has been scouring locations that could double as Victorian London for the Warner Bros movie, scheduled for release in 2010.

The locations he has been especially interested in are believed to be warehouses in the Great Howard Street and Stanley Dock area.

It is not clear whether principal actors will be heading to the city, but Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr is lined up to play the Baker Street detective.

The makers say the film is a gritty, dark version of the Arthur Conan Doyle classics, which will bring the physical side of the character to the fore.

Fans of the original stories know that far, from being a weakling, Holmes was a boxer and swordsman at university, and later studied martial arts.

One onlooker told the ECHO: "He (Guy Ritchie) seemed impressed with what he'd seen. There were a lot of people scouting and checking the location so you could tell it's going to be a pretty big operation.

"He came down on the train and had come from Lime Street so maybe he's here for more than just the docklands scenes."

The film is not to be confused with a comedy take on the Holmes story being prepared by Sony Pictures, starring Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell.

The film will not be based on any specific Conan Doyle story and producers say it will include action alongside detectivework.

Filming is due to start in October.

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