We’re already obsessed with the trailer for Enola Holmes, which stars Millie Bobby Brown as the teenage sister of Sherlock Holmes. Is Enola Holmes in the books, you might ask? Well, yes, Enola is in some Sherlock Holmes books — but not the ones you’re probably thinking of.
If you’re rereading some of the old Holmes stories to find Enola, you’re on a futile seach: Enola Holmes is not part of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original series of Sherlock Holmes mysteries. She’s actually the creation of Nancy Springer, an American author who penned The Enola Holmes Mysteries series of young adult mystery novels from 2006 to 2010. Springer’s books give us the basic outline of the plot shown in the trailer for the movie adaptation: after their mother’s disappearance, Enola’s brothers Sherlock and Mycroft attempt to send their teenage sister to finishing school, but instead, she’s able to sneak away and open her own private detective agency in London.
Enola Holmes isn’t the first time that a modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation has introduced a secret sister for the Holmes brothers, however. In the BBC series Sherlock, which lifts the action to present-day London, a major late-series twist involves the introduction of Eurus Holmes, an “evil” sibling positioned as even more brilliant (and even less compassionate) than her brothers.
The movie is already coming under fire from the Arthur Conan Doyle estate, but, surprisingly, it’s not the introduction of a non-Doyle character they have a problem with! According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Doyle Estate is suing the film over — wait for it — depicting Sherlock Holmes as having emotions. Although the estate lost the copyright to most Holmes stories in a 2014 lawsuit, they retain the copyright for Doyle’s final ten stories, written between 1923 and 1927. The estate’s argument is that those stories are the only ones that depict Sherlock as experiencing or expressing emotions, and therefore that the movie is infringing on their copyright. The lawsuit is still pending, but Enola Holmes is still on track to arrive on Netflix on Sept. 23.
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