Will Ferrell has demonstrated his singing ability on many an occasion, and we’ve also witnessed John C. Reilly showing off his pipes on the stage and in the film adaptation of Chicago. The duo also formed Prestige Worldwide in Step Brothers, an entertainment company with exacting standards for karaoke. Which is all to say we can see how they ended up going along with Etan Cohen’s idea for a Sherlock Holmes movie with a musical twist. Earlier this fall, Ferrell and Reilly signed on to play Holmes & Watson in a feature film. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie has added some singing to all the sleuthing.
Holmes & Watson director Etan Cohen has tapped composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater to write songs for the titular duo who may share a love that dare not belt its name. Cohen originally requested a “full-throated love song. Just go for the over-the-top emotionality; the actors will make it funny.” The director’s admonishment was probably unnecessary, since Menken and Slater wrote the bawdy opener to Sausage Party. But that animated comedy is what Menken believes must have qualified them for the gig: “They probably thought, ‘Hey, these guys will do anything!’”
But Menken and Slater also had a few ideas of their own. Slater told THR the movie “begins in a musical theater, almost Rex Harrison kind of a way, and then it turns into a full-on, ‘70s pop/soft rock love extravaganza, with an operatic interlude in the middle.” He went on: “It’s a bizarre hodgepodge. One is essentially a love song between Watson and Holmes.” Well, that is what Cohen asked for. In addition to this sappier tune, there will be a “tongue-in-cheek busker number by a one-man band” with “a Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins feel.” So, like this?
Holmes & Watson will also star Rebecca Hall, Lauren Lapkus, Kelly Macdonald, and Rob Brydon. It’s slated for release in 2018.