Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Sherlock Holmes Sequel

Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room … until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large—Professor Moriarty —and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade, points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder—a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty. The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes as he spins a web of death and destruction—all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history.


Rachel as: Irene Adler
Other cast: Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes), Jude Law (Dr. John Watson), Jared Harris (Professor James Moriarty), Noomi Rapace (Madam Simza Heron), Stephen Fry (Mycroft Holmes), Paul Anderson (Colonel Sebastian Moran), Kelly Reilly (Mary Watson)
Alternative Title: Sherlock Holmes 2
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Written by: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney
Production Status: Released on DVD
World Premiere: December 6, 2011 in Los Angeles at the World premiere
Theatrical Release: December 16, 2011 (US & UK)
Genre: Action/Adventure/Crime
Rated: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material.
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Run time: 129 min
Production budget: $125.000.000 (Estimated)
Box office: $186,848,418 (US) | $545,448,418 (World wide)
Producers: Bruce Berman, Steve Clark-Hall, Susan Downey, Ethan Erwin, Peter Eskelsen, Dan Lin, Lauren Meek, Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram
Original Music by: Hans Zimmer
Cinematography by: Philippe Rousselot

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Production Notes

Those two tantalizing words at the close of 2009’s “Sherlock Holmes” promised audiences that more adventures lie ahead. Now “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” fulfills that promise, bringing the legendary detective back to the big screen in a new action-packed mystery that reunites the stars and filmmakers behind that worldwide hit.

Director Guy Ritchie says, “I was very keen to return to Sherlock Holmes’ world because the experience of making the first movie was so positive, both personally and creatively. There were a myriad of story possibilities in revisiting this character because he has so many interesting facets. His idiosyncrasies almost transcend description, so I wanted the opportunity to explore that more, while giving audiences something they hadn’t seen.”

Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” had redefined Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic character for a new generation, with Robert Downey Jr. creating his own unique incarnation of the role, alongside Jude Law as Holmes’ friend, partner, and occasional foil, Dr. John Watson.

Producer Joel Silver states, “There was a kind of magic that came out of the dynamic between Robert and Jude as Holmes and Watson, and this film gave us a chance to take that up a notch. In the first movie, we had to give audiences the time to get to know the foibles of the characters. Coming into this movie, we had already laid the foundation, so we could launch right into the action, which is bigger, funnier and more explosive in every sense of the word.”

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Production Process

Late May 2010 Warner Bros confirmed Rachel would return for “Sherlock Holmes 2”. Filming took place in London, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire which is all in England. Rachel joined the cast in the late stages of the production process. She was seen on set of the movie with director Guy Ritchie en co-star Robert Downey Jr. in the week of February 2, 2011 in Strasbourg (France). Rachel, Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and director Guy Ritchie were seen September 17th, 22nd and 23th, 2011 in London to film a -rumored- additional linking scene to the possible 3th movie.

Trivia & Facts

  • It was not confirmed until the late stages of filming process Rachel would join the cast and return as Sherlock Holmes. Warner Bros. confirmed early February Rachel would return as Irene Adler as a cameo.
  • The scenes in Strasbourg were meant for the opening scenes for the movie.
  • Quotes from Rachel

    “I just have a small cameo in this one, but it was nice to revisit. It’s why I’ve always thought I would like to do television. You get really intimate with your character. Often with film, I find that you’re just really getting to know a person. They’re just starting to sink in, and then you wrap the film. So, it was nice to get to bring her back and have time to meditate on her a bit more. I liked that exercise.”
    On her return in the second film (Collider)

    “I think he brings so much of himself to the role, but he also does he homework; he does a lot of resource.”
    On Robert Downey Jr. (E! Online)

    “Yeah, it was really fun and I got to do some things I never done before. I don’t want to give anything away but I had a first on this film.”
    On making the film (AP)

    Quotes from Cast & Crew

    “[…] But we always wanted to just have essentially Sherlock, Watson and a few other peripheral characters like Mrs. Hudson; the woman in the house, or the cop; Inspector Lestrade. But we always intended to have a different kind of girl for each movie.”
    Joe Silver, producer (IAR)

    “We just thought it was nice to kind of close the chapter on Irene Adler because she was actually in the books. She was in one story and Holmes did think about her a lot. It was complicated getting (Rachel) to come back on board. She liked the experience (of the first film), she loved being with us, but she hoped to have a bigger role. I think at the end of the day it worked out fine. I think of the opening scene of the movie like it’s Sherlock 1A before Sherlock 2, just that little scene feels like it came out between the two movies. Then when the logo comes on, we’re starting the next picture, and I think it worked out for us. I think she did a great job for us.”
    Joe Silver, producer (IAR)

    Critical Reception

    “Ironically it is the supporting characters who provide most of the entertainment value this time around. In her comparatively brief screen-time, McAdams exhibits far more personality and roguish charm in her few moments here than she did in all of the previous film (freed from the constraints of being the de-facto love interest, McAdams relishes the chance to go full-villain).”
    Scott Mendelson (Huffington Post)

    “Rachel McAdams, who returns briefly as treacherous Irene Adler, did more with less first time around.”
    Ian Nathan (Empire Online)

    “In a tense opening sequence involving Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), the bad girl Holmes can’t help but love, we see that Moriarty will do whatever he has to do to rattle Holmes and send him a message about how things work.”
    Drew McWeeny (HitFix)

    “There’s an undercurrent of misogyny in the way women are dismissed or knocked around here. That may be true to the setting, but it’s disappointing to see gifted actresses squandered. Rachel McAdams is here and gone in a flash.”
    Colin Cover (Star Tribute)

    Promotional Tour

    December 6th 2011 Los Angeles Premiere Arrivals | After Party Videos

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