Interview, Part 1: Bonnie MacBird, Author of ‘Art in the Blood: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure’

Hollywood screenwriter Bonnie MacBird discusses her latest ‪Sherlock Holmes‬ novel, her passion for art, and her career.

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Photo of Bonnie MacBird
Courtesy of Bonnie MacBird

Bonnie MacBird visited the Virginia Festival of the Book to promote her latest book, Art in the Blood: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure. Her long career as a screenwriter, producer, and director includes the screenplay for the original TRON as well as three Emmy Awards and eleven Cine Golden Eagle Awards. A lifelong Sherlockian, MacBird lives in Los Angeles and takes frequent trips to London.

Is this your first time at the Virginia Festival of the Book?

Yes, it’s my first time and I love it! I’m very impressed with Charlottesville. It’s beautiful. The whole town and the festival itself are quite impressive.

I know you have a background as a screenwriter, producer, and actress. You’ve put on a Sherlock Holmes play, The Blue Carbuncle. What was the transition like from screenwriting to novel writing?

My background is in the movie business. I’ve been 35 years in the entertainment business in Los Angeles. I started as a studio exec. I did development and that meant reading literally thousands of scripts. I think during that very formative time in my career, I got many lessons on story structure by doing that and working on screenplays, which are highly structured pieces of writing. Then I was a screenwriter for a number of years. I was the original writer of the movie, TRON, and then did a bunch of other scripts that sold. Continue reading “Interview, Part 1: Bonnie MacBird, Author of ‘Art in the Blood: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure’”

Benedict Cumberbatch and Ian McKellen Strike Similar Poses for ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Mr. Holmes’ Promos

The new “Sherlock” photo coincides with San Diego Comic Con announcements and looks familiar.

Earlier this week, the BBC released an official promotional photo for their hit series, “Sherlock.” There’s still a few months to go before fans across the world can enjoy the Victorian special. However, the anticipation is still running strong, particularly with Steven Moffat on the scene for San Diego Comic Con. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the co-creator and writer admitted that he would be on board with crossing “Sherlock” with “Doctor Who.”

The new photo, as released on Twitter, depicts Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson in Victorian dress. Radio Times has a nice piece that dissects all the possible clues from their outfits. In the same EW interview, Moffat insists that he doesn’t need to explain the shift from modern London to Victorian London. In that sense, it’s almost like he’s doing a fan fiction number on his own work. Just look at any site with fan fiction: a number of writers don’t give reasons for the alternate universes or settings that they craft for their favorite characters. So why should we expect the same from Team “Sherlock”? It’s also a roundabout way of getting back to the Conan Doyle Canon, at least in attire and culture, which is already set in the Victorian era.

Promo Photos for "Sherlock" and "Mr. Holmes"
Official tweets with awfully similar photos, sans Watson, of course.

July is a big month for Sherlock Holmes media. “Mr. Holmes,” the feature film starring Ian McKellen, hits US theaters on July 17th. Ian McKellen posted a promotional photo of himself as the celebrated detective last month. Let’s put that photo next to one of Cumberbatch and Freeman. Unfortunately, we’ll have to leave Watson out of the picture (excuse the wordplay) for the comparison. Notice that Cumberbatch and McKellen mirror each other quite nicely in their photos. McKellen pivots slightly more in his armchair but the similarity remains striking, nonetheless!

While you’re waiting for the “Sherlock” special, be sure to check out “Mr. Holmes” in theaters next week.

William Gillette’s Restored ‘Sherlock Holmes’ From 1916 is Quite a Cinematic Gem

“Mr. Holmes” is not the only film about the Great Detective that has been circulating through the film festival avenues this year.

“Sherlock Holmes” (1916) Closes Out “Mostly Lost 4” in Culpeper, Va. Photo: Pat Cuadros

If you’re in withdrawal over “Sherlock,” you’re probably looking forward to the upcoming wide release of “Mr. Holmes,” the film adaptation of Mitch Cullen’s “A Slight Trick of the Mind.” Believe me when I say that I share your anticipation and curiosity about how an older Holmes will hit the big screen, particularly under the hand of the masterful Sir Ian McKellen. However, “Mr. Holmes” is not the only film about the Great Detective that has been circulating through the film festival avenues this year.

“Sherlock Holmes,” the 1916 silent feature from celebrated American actor William Gillette, was thought to be forever lost until it was found at Cinémathèque Française last October. It was painstakingly restored in a joint effort by a team including Robert Byrne, president of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, his colleagues there, and historians at Cinémathèque Française. “Sherlock Holmes” made its East Coast premiere on Saturday night at “Mostly Lost 4,” a series of workshops and screenings on silent films. The series is presented by the Library of Congress, which handles initiatives on film preservation. Continue reading “William Gillette’s Restored ‘Sherlock Holmes’ From 1916 is Quite a Cinematic Gem”

TV News: ‘Full Sherlock’ Teasers for Upcoming Special on BBC

Weeks ago, I highlighted the buzz surrounding the photo of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman dressed in what appeared to be Victorian garb. It was certainly reminiscent of the days of the Granada television series, which starred the late Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke.

Now Twitter is alive with hashtags for #Sherlock and even #setlock, a combination of Sherlock and set by fans who want to share their adventures from filming on the streets. The recent excitement concerns the appearance of Cumberbatch and Freeman in Victorian clothes in Gloucestershire Cathedral, as tweeted by sites like Entertainment Weekly:

Continue reading “TV News: ‘Full Sherlock’ Teasers for Upcoming Special on BBC”

Sherlock Holmes Returns to Broadway in 2017

Ever since Sherlock Holmes made his debut in “A Study in Scarlet” in 1887, the sleuth and his faithful Watson have come to be everywhere. Right now, you can find the pair on “Sherlock” and “Elementary.” Let’s not forget the Robert Downey, Jr. series, now approaching the third installment, as well as the Ian McKellen project about the aging detective. Add to that list the recent news about a new Broadway production, set for 2017. Continue reading “Sherlock Holmes Returns to Broadway in 2017”

TV Recap: Martin Freeman Crosses ‘The Hobbit’ with ‘The Office’ on ‘SNL’

Caution: This review contains spoilers.

In case you missed it, Martin Freeman (“Sherlock”) hosted “Saturday Night Live” on NBC last night. Like his “Sherlock” co-star, Benedict Cumberbatch, Freeman is everywhere in entertainment news on both UK and US fronts. The hosting gig coincides with this week’s release of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the final installment of the series. The best skit was probably “The Office: Middle Earth,” which SNL is now referring to as “Hobbit Office.” You can view it below:

Continue reading “TV Recap: Martin Freeman Crosses ‘The Hobbit’ with ‘The Office’ on ‘SNL’”

New ‘Sherlock’ Photo Shows Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman Seizing Their Victorian Side

Caution: This news piece contains speculation and spoilers about “Sherlock.”

As Benedict Cumberbatch fans reel from the news of his recent engagement, there are more promising developments coming out about the “Sherlock” special. This promotional photo was released just hours ago today, showing Cumberbatch with a top hat and formal clothing that seems reminiscent of the attire sported by the late Jeremy Brett. Likewise, Martin Freeman’s bowler hat and brown suit call to mind Edward Hardwicke and David Burke from the same Granada TV series. Continue reading “New ‘Sherlock’ Photo Shows Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman Seizing Their Victorian Side”