Sacha Baron Cohen, Will Ferrell team up for film

Wed Jul 2, 2008 4:36pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sacha Baron Cohen will star as detective Sherlock Holmes and Will Ferrell as his loyal assistant, Watson, in an upcoming film comedy inspired by tales of the fictional English sleuth, Columbia Pictures said on Wednesday.

Cohen, 36, and Ferrell, 40, last appeared together in the 2006 auto racing spoof "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," with Ferrell in the title role and Cohen playing his rival, a French speed racer.

Screenwriter Etan Cohen, no relation to the British comedian who sprang to movie fame as "Borat," has been signed to pen the screenplay for the as-yet untitled Sherlock Holmes film, the Sony Corp.-owned studio said in a statement.

The story will use as a starting point the principal characters created by Scottish-born author and physician Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 19th century.

No launch date for the production has been set, and no other decisions about casting or a director have been made.

The role of Holmes, the gentlemanly English detective par excellence renowned for his use of deductive reasoning, might seem an odd fit for Cohen, who, though educated at Cambridge University, has made a career of playing outlandish characters with funny accents.

He earned his credentials as a box office star playing a boorish, oversexed TV journalist from Central Asia in the 2006 comedy "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," improvising scenes with everyday Americans unaware he was making a movie.

The role was based on one of several characters he created for his television series, "Da Ali G Show." Cohen also appeared on the big screen opposite Johnny Depp in the 2007 musical "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street."   Continued...

<p>Winners of the best movie kiss, Will Ferrell (L) and Sacha Baron Cohen in 'Talladega Nights', prepare to kiss at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, California in this file photo from June 3, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>