The latest person to play the character of Sherlock Holmes is not your quintessential British gentleman nor is he an Aussie or American trying to put on a posh accent. In fact, Sherlock will now be played by none other than an Indian.
Before fans of the Sherlock TV series start smashing their computer screens and ransacking their surroundings, they will be relieved to know that Benedict Cumberbatch will continue to play Sherlock Holmes in upcoming episodes of the original BBC series.
However, the Indians believe that their own take on the detective series could be just as good.
After a Chicago court ruling paved the way for India to create its own version of the series, Bollywood star Anil Kapoor, best known internationally for his role in Slumdog Millionaire, was chosen as the actor to play the iconic role.
While some of the stories and plotlines may be protected by copyright, the character of Holmes is not, the judge ruled.
Not only is the Indian version going to be poles apart from the British, but it will be in a language that you would least expect. Yes folks, get ready for the master detective to solve cases in nothing short of Punjabi – not the sweetest sounding language.
Bet those Sherlock fans are hurling all kinds of profanities at whoever needed to renew the copyright on the character.
Kapoor is no stranger to successfully cloning TV serials. Recently, he starred in the Indian TV version of 24 and played a role similar to that of Jack Bauer. The show was a hit. Ratings were high in urban areas and the production quality received plenty of critical acclaim.
However, he is better known for roles in cheesy Bollywood blockbusters such as Mr India and Jamai Raja. Here’s a poster of the former.
Not very Shelock-esque.
Perhaps the producers of the Indian version can pull off a real surprise and produce a show of similar quality, despite all the odds. However, it seems unlikely.
The last thing true Sherlock fans - whether Indian or not - would like to see is the character of the suave detective being turned into a Punjabi joke, regardless of whether its Shahrukh Khan or Anil Kapoor playing the role.