Henry Cavill Reveals the ‘Key’ to His Sherlock Depiction in ‘Enola Holmes’

Over the years, there have been many depictions of England’s best-known detective Sherlock Holmes. From Robert Downey Jr.’s combat-ready Sherlock to Sir Ian McKellen’s turn as a sagacious and strategic elder Holmes, the character has become a badge of honor among actors. Recently, Henry Cavill appeared in Enola Holmes, playing Sherlock — the young Enola’s more famous older brother, and he boasts a primarily supporting role. 

Henry Cavill of Enola Holmes
Actor Henry Cavill arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ ‘Justice League’ | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

During an interview with GQ Magazine, Henry Cavill discussed his depiction of Sherlock and what he — as well as those behind the production — wanted to instill in the character for this family-friendly Netflix original. 

Henry Cavill on playing Sherlock in ‘Enola Holmes’

Enola Holmes is currently facing legal trouble because the Conan Doyle Estate has sued Netflix for its depiction of Sherlock Holmes. In short, the estate argues that it still has ownership of the version of Sherlock seen — an emotional one who boasts warm feelings and compassion for a young Enola. Yet, despite the legal trouble, Cavill explains this facet of Sherlock as ‘key’ to his version of the character. He told GQ: 

He’s going to be the Sherlock we know in the sense that to the rest of the world he can be aloof and cold, but with Enola he had to have an emotional connection. That was key – and something different than we’ve had in previous Sherlocks…It was a lot more emotional to begin with, so we pared it back, and we said, “Alright, let’s not make it too emotional.”

Henry Cavill / GQ Magazine

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While the new film has retained Sherlock’s cold outward disposition, the film seizes brief moments to reveal his softer sides in one-on-ones with his sister. He shows that he cares deeply about her. He may be a man of stoic seriousness on the hunt for answers, but how he responds to Enola creates a divergence from his most-witnessed disposition. 

What’s in store for Sherlock and Enola Holmes moving forward? 

Though the Conan Doyle Estate is suing Netflix, here’s to hoping Netflix emerges with an ability to retain Cavill’s warmth as Sherlock; it works well for a story centered around Enola Holmes’ experience and interactions with her family. 

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Considering that the source material presents room for many sequels, Cavill and Millie Bobby Brown may have many films left as Sherlock and Enola, respectively. As for the Enola Holmes novels, written by Nancy Springer, 5 novels remain in the series. 

The first novel — The Case of the Missing Marques — came to life in the recent Netflix installment. As for the stories that remain, fans have yet to see live-action depictions of The Case of the Left-Handed Lady, The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets, The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan, and The Case of the Gypsy Good-bye.