Millie Bobby Brown’s new film Enola Holmes is facing lawsuit from estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Millie Bobby Brown’s new film Enola Holmes is facing lawsuit from estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Millie Bobby Brown’s upcoming Netflix film, Enola Holmes, is facing a lawsuit from the estate of the man who created and wrote the famed Sherlock Holmes collection of short stories and novels starting in 1887 over copyright and trademark violations.

The screenplay is based on the book series of the same name by Nancy Springer, which chronicles the adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister Enola, who’s Springer’s creation and not part of the original storyline written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

A majority of the tales written by Doyle are now considered to be public domain, but the last few stories featuring details about Holmes’ emotions, published between 1923 and 1927, are not — and those are ones that have allegedly been included in Springer’s novels.

Legal action: Millie Bobby Brown’s upcoming Netflix film, Enola Holmes, is facing a lawsuit from the estate of the man who created and wrote the famed Sherlock Holmes collection of short stories and novels starting in 1887 over copyright and trademark violations

The 19-page complaint, filed by the Doyle Estate at a federal court in New Mexico, questions whether the development of feelings and emotions for the famously stoic character is something that can be protected by copyright and whether the alleged depiction of Holmes in Enola Holmes is somehow an imitative of the work by Doyle. 

‘After the stories that are now in the public domain, and before the Copyrighted Stories, the Great War happened,’ the complaint states.

‘In World War I Conan Doyle lost his eldest son, Arthur Alleyne Kingsley. Four months later he lost his brother, Brigadier-General Innes Doyle. When Conan Doyle came back to Holmes in the Copyrighted Stories between 1923 and 1927, it was no longer enough that the Holmes character was the most brilliant rational and analytical mind. Holmes needed to be human. The character needed to develop human connection and empathy.’

Iconic: Beginning in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels based around his creation of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson; he is pictured in 1890

Iconic: Beginning in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels based around his creation of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson; he is pictured in 1890

The Stranger Things star, 16, plays the title role alongside Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin and Helena Bonham Carter, Adeel Akhtar, Fiona Shaw, Frances de la Tour, Louis Partridge, Susie Wokoma and Burn Gorman.

The estate has named Netflix, Legendary Pictures, screenwriter Jack Thorne, director Harry Bradbeer and publishers at Penguin Random House, among others, in the lawsuit. 

At last check the defendants had not yet commented on the legal action. 

The estate’s executives are seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages and relief from further infringement on copyrights, according to Deadline.

More recent take: Enola Holmes is based on the book series of the same name by Nancy Springer, which chronicles the adventures of Sherlock Holmes' younger sister Enola, who's Springer's creation and not part of the original storyline written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

More recent take: Enola Holmes is based on the book series of the same name by Nancy Springer, which chronicles the adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister Enola, who’s Springer’s creation and not part of the original storyline written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The 19-page complaint, filed by the Doyle Estate at a federal court in New Mexico, questions whether the development of feelings and emotions for the famously stoic Holmes character is something that can be protected by copyright

The 19-page complaint, filed by the Doyle Estate at a federal court in New Mexico, questions whether the development of feelings and emotions for the famously stoic Holmes character is something that can be protected by copyright

So far there’s no word on whether the legal proceedings will delay the release of the film version.

As of now Enola Holmes is slated to premiere on Netflix in September. 

Back in 2015, the Doyle Estate also tried to use those last remaining Holmes stories from 1923 to 1927 as leverage to sue Miramax over the 2015 film Mr. Holmes. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court. 

The Sherlock Holmes stories have been widely considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. 

Teen star: Millie Bobby Brown, 16, plays the title role in Enola Holmes; As of now the film is slated to premiere on Netflix in September; she is pictured as Eleven in Stranger Things

Teen star: Millie Bobby Brown, 16, plays the title role in Enola Holmes; As of now the film is slated to premiere on Netflix in September; she is pictured as Eleven in Stranger Things

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