Ian McKellen's Sherlock Holmes in 'A Slight Trick of the Mind' Foreshadows Benedict Cumberbatch's Future

It has just been announced that Laura Linney will join Ian McKellen in the upcoming Sherlock Holmes film A Slight Trick of the Mind. The movie is based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Mitch Cullin which tells the story of an aging and retired Holmes (played by McKellen). After moving to Sussex for a quieter life keeping bees, Holmes becomes obsessed with an unsolved case. Linney will play Holmes’ housekeeper Mrs. Munro and it turns out the actress has been a lifelong fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s series.

According to Linney, “You know how some people are into Dungeons & Dragons? I was into Sherlock Holmes.” So it seems Linney has quite a lot in common with Internet fandom as the BBC series Sherlock has its own legion of similarly obsessed fans. The show’s star Benedict Cumberbatch is a human meme waiting to happen and his co-star Martin Freeman also stars in that other mega-fan film series called The Hobbit. It's the stuff of Tumblr dreams.

Ian McKellen then really is the perfect choice to play the elder Holmes in the next incarnation. In fact, there’s a lot in both Cumberbatch’s and McKellen’s careers that prove he’s the only man to take on Sherlock Holmes after Cumberbatch. Considering the BBC series has re-defined the world of 221b Baker Street for a whole new generation, it will take quite a lot for fans to see the famous sleuth anew. But we’re not too worried, we think McKellen is already the elder Cumberbatch. Here’s how:

There was that time Cumberbatch played Smaug in The Hobbit franchise…

...and McKellen played the wise Gandalf

Sometimes Cumberbatch likes to get down with his pals…

Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

...Oh and McKellen already did that too.

Hey! Benedict Cumberbatch is all over the Internet

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

...and oh yeah...duh.

Did you hear Cumberbatch is going to star in Hamlet on the West End?

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Yeah, McKellen has been there, done that.

So if Benedict Cumberbatch has mastered that whole "Mind Palace" thing…

...Ian McKellen is the only man to receive the torch for the next iteration of the iconic role.

Image: mckellen.com