The film, based on a series of novels by Nancy Springer and released on Netflix in September, follows the sister of the legendary detective, a character created by Springer.
But the legacy of the late author has been opposed to the way Holmes is portrayed in the series, arguing that the smile was always kind and emotional in books that are still under the author’s copyright. In previous works, now in the public domain, his restlessness and lack of empathy are crucial aspects of his character and must be respected in any adaptation, according to the estate.
Many later Sherlock Holmes titles continue to be protected under U.S. copyright law.
“While Sherlock Holmes is famous for his great powers of observation and logic, he is almost as famous for being unknown and unemployed,” the archive argues, citing an excerpt from a story by Conan Doyle in which his friend and assistant for a long time. John Watson describes Holmes as “as deficient in human sympathy as he was preeminent in intelligence.”
“(T) or Holmes, Watson was utilitarian: he was employed when he was useful, then he was left out,” the archive continues. “Holmes didn’t treat Watson with heat.”
While most of Sherlock Holmes ’Conan Doyle stories are available in the public domain and therefore can be adapted by anyone, a number of later stories – written after World War I, that had a profound impact in the author – continue under copyright.
The estate, which has passed after other alleged infractions over the years, argues that only in those later, copyrighted stories, the softness was softened, and that using these more characteristic features, books and movies. “Enola Holmes” movies are. therefore, infringing copyright.
CNN has contacted Netflix, Springer and Penguin Random House, the book publisher, for comment.
“Holmes needed to be human,” the archive says, after describing the impact of the war on Conan Doyle. “He became capable of friendship. He was able to express emotion. He began to respect women.”
“[T]Springer’s novels make violent and extensive use of Conmes Doyle’s transformation from Holmes from cold and critical to warm, respectful, and kind in their relationships, ”the property states.
“Springer places Enola Holmes at the center of the novels, and (Sherlock) Holmes initially treats her with care, then changes to respond with warmth and kindness,” he adds.
He cites a passage from Springer’s 2008 book “The Case of the Rare Bouquets,” in which Holmes worries about Watson after he disappears. “Nowhere in the public domain stories does Holmes express so much emotion,” the statement argues.
The filing does not claim that neither Springer nor its publisher nor the producers of the Netflix adaptation applied for permission to use the stories protected by Conan Doyle.
In its April promotional material, Netflix said the new film “tells the story of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes’ rebellious sister Enola, a super-sleeper in her own right who often surpasses her bright siblings.”
He added that the film “puts a new dynamic and feminine twist on the world’s greatest detective and his brilliant family.”