Stranger Things breakout star Millie Bobby Brown stars in Netflix's new mystery-adventure movie Enola Holmes, based on the best-selling novels by Nancy Springer. Brown plays the role of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes' younger and equally brilliant sister Enola. In an interview, Harry Bradbeer, the star director of acclaimed show Fleabag who also directed Enola Holmes, explained what made him interested in helming an adaptation of Springer's work.
"I thought there was a way of making a film that was going to be energetic, eccentric, particular, but also very emotional. And I think that's one of the things I really leaned into with the script, because it was a fun romp when I first looked at it, but I thought there was more emotion to mine from it."
"The other thing that really appealed to me, and it was there in the original script but we brought it much further forward, was the debate about human rights, and about democracy. That debate was really going on, with the People's Representation Act, but the vote wasn't there for women yet. The politics of that time, I thought, well, let's bring that forward, so that even though it's an adventure film, it could be so much more."
Sherlock Holmes is one of the most popular fictional characters of all time, and there have been innumerable adaptations of the famous detective through every form of media. Naturally, Bradbeer's work had to hold up against those works, from the stylishly detailed films of Guy Ritchie, to the classic Sherlock Holmes TV series starring Peter Cushing. With so many popular depictions of the character's world set in Victorian England, Harry Bradbeer had to make sure his own research was detailed and exact.
"Details are so important. Details are everything. I mean, I did a history degree, which I think helps. So, I knew that period well; I knew that behavior. I'd studied that period of democratic change quite closely. The Victorian period was full of things. It was the first time when they had lots of little things. It was the first great consumer culture, and so there was a lot to play with. A film professor once said to me, "Harry, everything is a choice. Every single thing you see on that screen is a choice, every color, every book." And so, it stays with you. In the process of developing the script, you're researching it, and you do have to know it backwards and forwards and all the way around."
Early reviews for Enola Holmes have been very positive, with critics giving special mention to the movie's energetic direction style and lush cinematography, so it seems the effort Bradbeer put into bringing the world of the novels to film in an entertaining manner has borne fruit.
Enola Holmes stars Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin, Adeel Akhtar, Fiona Shaw, Frances de la Tour, Louis Partridge, Burn Gorman, Susan Wokoma, with Henry Cavill and Helena Bonham Carter. The film arrives on Netflix Sept. 23. This interview was originally conducted on Deadline.