Millie Bobby Brown is the star of another high-profile Netflix project following her Stranger Things success – out tomorrow, Enola Holmes will see the 16-year-old play Sherlock Holmes’ sister, who’s every bit as clever as her big brother!
Based on American author Nancy Springer’s novels of the same name, Enola Holmes sees Brown’s title character escape finishing school to search for her suddenly-missing mother (Helena Bonham Carter). Sam Claflin and Henry Cavill also feature in the film as Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes respectively with Fleabag and Killing Eve’s Harry Bradbeer directing.
While Sherlock isn’t the focus of this Netflix film, Cavill recently told Radio Times that his Sherlock Holmes has been “softened” by his younger sister in the film and is different from “what we may see as the traditional misogynistic genius”.
Read on for everything we know so far about Enola Holmes.
When is Enola Holmes’ Netflix release date?
Netflix had originally revealed Enola Holmes’ release date in rather a cryptic fashion – the streamer released a teaser trailer for the film back in August, with the caption: “alone loshme reeebtpms wnettyrhitd”.
When solved, the anagram reads: Enola Holmes September twenty-third – implying the film was set to land on Netflix on Wednesday 23rd September – and this was confirmed by the platform later in August.
Filming took place from July 2019 onwards – if you’re wondering where Enola Holmes was filmed, check out our full guide to the movie’s shooting locations.
What is Enola Holmes about?
Based on the Nancy Springer books, Enola Holmes is set in 19th century England and centres around Sherlock’s younger sister (Millie Bobby Brown), who discovers on her 16th birthday that her mother has disappeared with no clue as to where she’s gone.
Netflix teases: “After a free-spirited childhood, Enola suddenly finds herself under the care of her brothers Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin), both set on sending her away to a finishing school for “proper” young ladies.”
“Refusing to follow their wishes, Enola escapes to search for her mother in London. But when her journey finds her entangled in a mystery surrounding a young runaway Lord (Louis Partridge), Enola becomes a super-sleuth in her own right, outwitting her famous brother as she unravels a conspiracy that threatens to set back the course of history.”
Judging by Louis Partridge’s comments about his character, the mystery involving Lord Tewksbury could be a large twist in the film. Speaking to Radio Times magazine, he said: “I definitely didn’t guess the mystery involving my character when I first read the script for this – I didn’t even have an inkling and hopefully people who are watching it won’t either.”
Directed by Killing Eve’s Harry Bradbeer and written by His Dark Materials’ Jack Thorne, the team hope to bring a “fresh approach” to the detective series.
Speaking to Total Film, Bradbeer said: “There was the fact that there was a sister that people probably hadn’t considered existed.”
“That automatically brings the whole feminist stance and a feminist angle on the Holmes story, which was particularly interesting to me, as Holmes was thought of as being someone who was a little bit of a misogynist,” he said.
Speaking about playing Sherlock Holmes in the Netflix film, Henry Cavil said: “When Harry [Bradbeer] and I were discussing the character, we were very aware that Sherlock had been played wonderfully many times by many wonderful actors.”
“And what we liked about this version was that it was untraditional due to the nature of who the story is about. This isn’t a Sherlock Holmes movie,” he continued. “This is an Enola Holmes movie. And in this case, he’s actually with another pea in the pod, if you will, and you see a lot more warmth, kindness, and a humanity to Sherlock.”
The film’s star – Millie Bobby Brown – recently spoke to Radio Times magazine, saying that she wants to raise awareness of Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister.
“Enola is Sherlock Holmes’s little sister, but I want to change that and make her famous; I’d like Sherlock to be known as Enola Holmes’s big brother,” she said. “I love that this young woman brings a new perspective on the Holmes family, and how she’s very inspired by her mother and very inspiring in her own right.”
She added that she came up with the idea for the film with her older sister Paige, who is also an actress.
“We fell in love with Enola after reading The Enola Holmes Mysteries [a young adult book series by US author Nancy Springer], and so we went to my mum and dad, who own a production company, and said, ‘We’re so inspired by her. This needs to be a film.’ My sister and I are producers as we felt it was only right to have girl power behind the scenes, too.”
Enola’s on-screen brother, Sam Claflin, also said that he was drawn to the story by the focus on Enola and “her independence, strength and wisdom”.
“I have a daughter and I hope that she watches a film like this in the future,” he said.
For more on the film’s plot and to have the Enola Holmes ending explained, follow the link!
You can get the complete Sherlock Holmes book collection on Amazon for £13.02.
Enola Holmes trailer
A full-length trailer was released on 25th August, with Brown’s Enola introducing herself and explaining that her dear mother has gone missing.
We also get a first glimpse of Henry Cavill and Sam Claflin as Sherlock and Mycroft respectively, with Enola picking them up from the station and hoping they will have answers to their mother’s disappearance.
However, it seems her brothers aren’t too happy with how Enola has turned out, describing her as a “wild woman” and claiming it is their duty to “make her acceptable for society” by sending her to finishing school.
But Enola escapes, hoping to find her mother while also staying hidden from her brothers by tuning herself into “a lady”.
Watch the full trailer below.
The trailer is afoot! Enola Holmes arrives 23 September pic.twitter.com/hmgB7RHiU6
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) August 25, 2020
Earlier Netflix dropped had a cryptic teaser for Enola Holmes on Monday 17th August, with the caption: “alone loshme reeebtpms wnettyrhitd”
alone loshme reeebtpms wnettyrhitd ????️♀️???? pic.twitter.com/pc2lj1LxjR
— NX (@NXOnNetflix) August 17, 2020
It looks as though each word in the caption is an anagram, which when solved, reads: “Enola Holmes September twenty-third”.
In the 20 second clip, we get a brief look at Millie Bobby Brown as Sherlock’s younger sister with a mind “sharp as a tack”, as well as Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, Helena Bonham Carter, Adeel Akhtar, Fiona Shaw and Susan Wokoma donning 19th century attire.
Why is Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate suing Netflix?
According to the Daily Mail, the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – author of the original Sherlock Holmes books – is suing Netflix for copyright infringement over Enola Holmes.
The Doyle Estate reportedly lost most of its rights to the character in 2014, however it has argued in a 19-page complaint that the film depicts Holmes as possessing emotions which were a late addition to the character in books not yet in the public domain.
In 2014, a court found that all works made before 1923 are considered to be in the public domain. The Doyle Estate claim that the copyright of the author’s last ten stories, published between 1923 and 1927, still belong to them.
The Estate claims that the film’s portrayal of Holmes would represent copyright infringement.
RadioTimes.com has contacted the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle for further comment.
Enola Holmes cast
Leading the Enola Holmes cast is 16-year-old actress Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things, Godzilla: King of the Monsters) as the title character, while Superman actor Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, Justice League) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games, Love, Rosie) play her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft respectively.
Cavill, who plays Sherlock Holmes, recently told Radio Times that he had lots of fun taking on such an iconic role as Sherlock isn’t at the forefront of the story and so “an enormous amount of the pressure was off”.
“Our Sherlock is different from what we may see as the traditional misogynistic genius. Enola softens Sherlock and opens up his heart, which we haven’t really had access to in other renditions,” he said.
His on-screen brother, Sam Claflin, added that Enola Holmes is a fresh take on the detective family. “I love the brotherly banter between Sherlock and Mycroft and the opportunity to play against type and rock a moustache.”
Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown, Harry Potter) portrays the siblings’ mother Eudoria, who mysteriously disappears on Enola’s birthday, and Paddington 2 actor Louis Partridge plays runaway Viscount Tewksbury.
Fleabag’s Fiona Shaw plays Miss Harrison, the mistress of Enola’s new finishing school – a role, she told Radio Times magazine, was written for her.
“Harry Bradbeer, who directed me in Killing Eve and Fleabag, also directed this, so I think he and [screenwriter] Jack Thorne wrote this part for me,” she said. “In some scenes, I had to improvise teaching Enola how to behave with deportment and Millie thought I was completely barking.”
Murder Mystery’s Adeel Akhtar plays a young Inspector Lestrade and Chewing Gum’s Susie Wokoma plays Edith, the owner of a London tea house and jiu-jitsy master, alongside Torchwood’s Burn Gorman as henchman Linthorn, The History Boys’ Frances de la Tour as Tewksbury’s grandmother, Valkyrie’s David Bamber as Sir Whimbrel and Beauty and the Beast’s Hattie Morahan as Lady Tewkesbury.
Enola Holmes books
If you want to get a head start on the Enola Holmes books before Netflix releases this adaptation, look no further.
The Enola Holmes Mysteries, written by American author Nancy Springer, consists of six books:
- The Case of the Missing Marquess
- The Case of the Left-Handed Lady
- The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets
- The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan
- The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline
- The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye
The complete set is available to buy on the Penguin Random House website.
However, if you’d like to read the series’ source material – Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels – you can buy his complete works on Amazon.
If you’re looking for something to watch, check out our TV Guide.