Will Ferrell, who may play Dr. Watson in a Sherlock Holmes film with Sacha Baron Cohen, told a group of reporters that the comedy duo are waiting out the similarly themed Robert Downey Jr. movie, directed by Guy Ritchie, to decide whether to move forward. Downey's Sherlock Holmes opens Christmas 2009.
"It's just a question of the Robert Downey Jr. one that they've just shot, which I think will come out during Christmas or something like that," Ferrell said in response to a question about the status of his Holmes movie in a group interview last week in Hollywood, where he was promoting Land of the Lost. "That one's probably going to be a hit franchise, and [we have to decide] whether that is something you want to go up against."
Ferrell went on to explain the factors that could give him confidence to create an alternate Sherlock Holmes franchise. "Would it just inform the audience to allow for us to do a comedy version, or would it feel like we're just trying to copy them?" he asked. "Even though I think we wrote our script before they did or something like that. I don't know, but, yeah, we're thinking about it."
The status of Ferrell's film is in mid-development, beyond the scripting stage. "We've got a script written by Etan Cohen," he said. "I just met with Sacha, like, three weeks ago. We're talking about it some more."