It's elementary for Neil Marshall

The Descent's top man has signed to direct Sherlock Holmes

He might be in the middle of shooting apocalyptic horror thriller Doomsday, but Neil Marshall is already planning his next film. And it’s a real step away from splatter fiction.

He’s just signed on the dotted to direct a re-imagined version of Sherlock Holmes that will see the Victorian detective becoming an action-adventure hero for Warners.

And there’s another first for Marshall lurking here – it’ll be the first time he’s directing something he didn’t write, as Michael Johnson has written the script. Warners are apparently hoping that the pair will do a Batman Begins on Holmes and Watson and make them “edgier”. The studio is staying schtum on the plot, but the story will focus less on his stiff detecting style and more on his fencing and boxing, though presumably not his deep love for the smoking of the opium.

With the niggling minor rights issues – the stories are mostly in the public domain, though author Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate still has some control – the push is on to make this Marshall’s next film. And of course the hunt will now be on for the 15,000th person to play the role of Holmes.