The estate of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have filed a copyright and trademark lawsuit against Miramax for the movie, Mr. Holmes. The film stars Sir Ian McKellen (pictured, via) as an elderly Sherlock Holmes.
The story for this film adaptation, based on Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, served as the inspiration for the script. Variety.com reports that Cullin and Penguin Random House, the publisher of Cullin’s book, have also been named defendants in the complaint.
Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “According to the complaint, Doyle’s public domain works ‘make references to Holmes’s retirement,’ but the ones still in copyright tell ‘much more about Sherlock Holmes’ retirement and later years,’ such as the detective’s attempt to solve one last case, how he ‘comes to love nature and dedicates himself to studying it,’ and how Holmes develops ‘a personal warmth and the capacity to express love for the first time.’ Mr. Holmes screenwriter Mitch Cullin allegedly took ‘protected elements of setting, plot, and character’ to create his work, setting up a defense that will likely explore what was covered in earlier Doyle work and what might be generic ideas not worthy of copyright protection.”