Sherlock Holmes & the Thinking Engine

  • Help support The Comic Board :

compound

Well-Known Member
Kindly excuse my indulgence. Here is my pitch for a non-existent Hollywood summer blockbuster, complete with fantasy casting. It features any number of 'Ultimate' takes on familiar literary tropes.

Shelock Holmes & the Thinking Engine
A Treatment by Paolo Jose Cruz


London, 1889. Wah Tsung (Jackie Chan) is a spirited but down-on-his-luck immigrant working on the docks. His boss (David Thewlis, Kingdom of Heaven) regularly loots the stevedores' belongings, under the guise of weeding out 'labor agitators' from the Internationale. Wah stands up to his boss' hired thugs, making him a fugitive.

Hiding out in Baker Street, he ends up in the office of ineffectual private detective Sherlock Holmes (Jason Flemyng, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels), who hasn't solved a case in years, and is half-blind from constantly drinking absinthe. He wants nothing more than to be immortalized among the ranks of great detectives. The kindly sleuth takes in Wah Tsung -- now known as "Watson" -- as his live-in assistant.

Holmes has become something of a laughingstock, ever since his last botched investigation. He was hired to find missing Professor Lemuel Turing (Anthony Stewart Head, Giles from Buffy The Vampire Slayer) who has built the Union Jack Beta, a prototype super-intelligent 'thinking engine'. Turing's wife, Ada (Shannyn Sossamon, A Knight's Tale, 40 Days and 40 Nights), has since been diagnosed with 'morbid denial' of her husband's disappearance, given to 'hysterical' outbursts of spirited behavior -- in other words, she's gotten over the grief, and taken control over her life. The last person to see Turing was a 'smart machine' named ROB (voiced by comedian Ali G), who is now gathering cobwebs in Turing's disused workshop.

When Ada reactivates ROB, leading to new clues, Watson convinces Holmes to take one final crack at the mystery. They just might have the resources necessary to solve the case, between Ada's intuition and technical knowledge, ROB's gadgetry, Watson's deductive reasoning and martial arts skills, and Holmes'... well, he just hopes to live to tell the story.

Along the way, they encounter a motley slew of characters who either aid or hinder them:

Holmes' rival, royal intelligencer James Broccoli (Richard Roxbrough, Moulin Rouge), hopes to find Turing first, in her Majesty's service, of course.

The Baker Street Irregulars, an anachronistic bunch of hooligans with 'bling-bling' sensibilities, are willing to be Holmes' street level informants -- for the right price.

Retired soldier-turned-bartender Stewie (Robbie Coltrane, Hagrid of the Harry Potter films) is the late 19th century equivalent of a ballistic forensics expert, with his intimate knowledge of weaponry. He's always prepared to do old pal Holmes a favor -- even if his drinks tab is currently astronomical.

The ragtag band survive a few close run-ins with Roger Dodger (Ray Park, X-Men, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace), a suave, mute hitman reputedly connected with the crime syndicate of the mysterious Moriarty.

After a search leads them into abandoned warehouses, a banquet for the Ministry of Technology, and the sewers below London -- not to mention encounters involving street thugs, royal guards, and an experimental "Robo-Bobby" -- the intrepid group discovers the real motives behind Turing's disappearance.

The Professor went into a guilt-induced hiding, after an 'anomaly' caused Union Jack to gain sentience, applying its creator's skewed Victorian 'logic' to go on a 'purifying' killing spree in Whitechapel, a few months before.

Unknowingly, Turing forges a reluctant alliance with the very same person who created the 'Ripper virus': the brilliant, if overlooked, mathematician/crime 'lord' Moriarty (Dame Judi Dench).

She put an end to Jack’s shenanigans, in exchange for Turing's services to upgrade the super-computer's range and scope -- she plans to hold the Crown hostage, by threatening to simultaneously crash civilian steamships into every populated port in the British empire. (Um, don't ask.)

Now it's up to our heroes to find Moriarty's hidden lair, amidst the Reidenbach Falls, and put an end to her evil scheme!
 

Bass

Nexus of the World
I'm going to read this when I have more time.

Honestly, I would see this film on the title alone.
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
Ha, that is a fun twist to the character. That would be a great movie.
 

compound

Well-Known Member
ProjectX2 said:
Ha, that is a fun twist to the character.
Honestly, the idea of Watson being the real mystery-solver is nothing new. Ditto for the concept of Holmes as burnt-out, incompetent absinthe fiend. From there, it seemed fairly obvious (to me, anyway) that the next obvious step would be to make Watson into an ***-kicking, preternaturally logical Chinaman who has been tragically misrepresented by popular history.

One of my favorite hypothetical story ideas is a meeting in Heaven or Elysium or wherever between Tonto, Friday (from Robinson Crusoe), Kato, and all the other colored sidekicks, exchanging notes about how much of their efforts were credited to their Caucasian buddies.
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
compound said:
One of my favorite hypothetical story ideas is a meeting in Heaven or Elysium or wherever between Tonto, Friday (from Robinson Crusoe), Kato, and all the other colored sidekicks, exchanging notes about how much of their efforts were credited to their Caucasian buddies.
Perhaps an organization could be formed between them, one similar to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the The Open Conspiracy from Planetary. The premise being that they make the hidden moves that progress mankind, and allowing the credit to spill onto their Caucasian partners in order to avoid scrutiny or threat from those who wish to impede progress.
 

compound

Well-Known Member
ourchair said:
Perhaps an organization could be formed between them, one similar to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the The Open Conspiracy from Planetary. The premise being that they make the hidden moves that progress mankind, and allowing the credit to spill onto their Caucasian partners in order to avoid scrutiny or threat from those who wish to impede progress.
Of course, you would then need to find an excuse for their massive age differences. Which is why I felt like the afterlife was the only real plausible setting for a gathering like that.
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
compound said:
Of course, you would then need to find an excuse for their massive age differences. Which is why I felt like the afterlife was the only real plausible setting for a gathering like that.
Oh yeah, like that should be a problem. Didn't the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's Agent Sawyer exist as an anachronism? He's supposed to be close to Quatermain's age.
 
Last edited:

ourchair

Well-Known Member
This is still kind of awesome and I remembered it because I was editing an article on Sherlock Holmes for the magazine I work for today.
 
Top