Robert Downey Jr. Vs. Sacha Baron Cohen: A Tale Of Two Holmes

With today's Variety report that Robert Downey Jr. will star in a mildly distracted Guy Ritchie's upcoming Sherlock Holmes for Warner Bros.—by all accounts, a much more reverential take on the mythical detective than the Columbia comedy announced just last week starring Sacha Baron Cohen—we thought we'd celebrate this latest Elementary! edition of our ongoing The End of Ideas series by comparing and contrasting the two competing projects:

The Take:
RDJ: A fast-talking, self-absorbed Holmes with hints of deep inner-turmoil, Downey's creation will overcome a career-threatening intravenous morphine habit to become the toast of London's A-list private detective scene.
SBC: A snootier and less aware take on the erudite detective, this Holmes will always insist, despite the bafflement of his perennial sidekick Watson, that the best way to solve a particularly difficult case is to visit the local all-boys brothel for some closed-door interrogations.

The Case
RDJ: An Apparition on the Moors
SBC: The Problem of the One-Legged Beefeater

The Detective Style
RDJ: Drawing upon the obsessiveness of his reporter character in Zodiac, virtually no detail will be overlooked as Downey's detective combs the London streets and estate countryside in search of Lord Downey of Chatsworth's coldblooded killer.
SBC: The brilliant Holmes will disarm unwitting suspects by shoving a microphone in their face and a hammering them with a barrage of questions so disarmingly moronic—"So, did you kill the liveryman? Oh, I see. Well, what about...now?!"—he eventually stumbles upon an accidental confession.

The Watson
RDJ: Hoping to recapture some of their Iron Man magic, look for Terrence Howard to be approached to play filmdom's first black Watson, his soulful, mossy-green eyes welling with prideful tears after every successfully solved case.
SBC: Will Ferrell has already been announced, and with that the promise of an exciting light beer tie-in, in which the improvisational comedian looks into the camera and announces: "It's elementary. I'm horny."

The Catchphrase
RDJ: "The game is afoot!"
SBC: "Does this cloak make me look fat?"

[Photo Credit:The Satchel Pages]