Sherlock Holmes: New Version to Star Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell

July 2, 2008–Comedy superstars Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell will team together for a Columbia Pictures comedy based on the renowned characters Sherlock Holmes and Watson, with Baron Cohen taking the role of the master detective and Ferrell as his partner in solving crime, Watson, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, presidents of Columbia Pictures. The screenplay will be written by Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder). Judd Apatow and Jimmy Miller will produce.

The film will re-team Baron Cohen and Ferrell after their collaboration on the 2006 box office hit Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. The Sherlock Holmes characters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will inspire the screenplay, which will use the works as a starting point for the comedy.

Commenting on the announcement, Tolmach said, Just the idea of Sacha and Will as Sherlock Holmes and Watson makes us laugh. Sacha and Will are two of the funniest and most talented guys on the planet and having them take on these two iconic characters is frankly hilarious.

SACHA BARON COHEN most recently appeared opposite Johnny Depp for director Tim Burton in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Baron Cohen was, until recently, best known to the public as his alter ego Ali G, the in-your-face host of HBO's popular multiple Emmy Award- nominated comedy variety/talk show “Da Ali G Show.” The show was already the #1 comedy phenomenon in Baron Cohen's native England when he brought it to the United States, where it became an instant sensation on HBO. After completing two seasons, Baron Cohen set out to conquer the world with Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, a feature film starring his second alter ego Borat Sagdiyev, a Kazakhstani news reporter. Baron Cohen earned the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for his performance, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Baron Cohen's past film projects include the hit feature comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby which co-starred Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, and voicing King Julien, the lead character in DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar, which grossed over $500 million worldwide. He is set to reprise the role in the sequel to the animated hit.

WILL FERRELL has come a long way since his days on Saturday Night Live, crossing over from television icon to motion picture star shortly after joining the SNL cast in 1995.

He will next star in Step Brothers, which reunites him with his Talladega Nights co-star John C. Reilly and director Adam McKay. Ferrell also executive produces the project, co-wrote the screenplay with McKay, and co-wrote the story with McKay and Reilly.

He most recently starred in Semi-Pro and just completed production on the adventure/comedy Land of the Lost, set for release next summer. Prior to that, in 2007, he starred in the comedy hit Blades of Glory with Jon Heder. The film took in over $118 million at the box office.

In 2006, Ferrell demonstrated that his dramatic gifts equal his comedic talents, earning his second Golden Globe nomination (Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical) for his portrayal of IRS agent Harold Crick in Stranger than Fiction, starring opposite Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah and Maggie Gyllenhaal for director Marc Forster.

Earlier that year, Ferrell starred in the hit comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, with co-stars John C. Reilly and Sacha Baron Cohen. Earning nearly $150 million at the U.S. box office, the film became the seasons #1 comedy (non-animated) and set records on DVD.

In the summer of 2004, Ferrell starred in the comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy for DreamWorks Pictures, which grossed over $85 million domestically. Ferrell co-wrote the script with SNL writer Adam McKay. Judd Apatow (Freaks and Geeks) produced, with David O. Russell (Three Kings) executive producing. Ferrell portrayed Ron Burgundy, a 1970s anchorman with an inflated ego threatened by the arrival of an ambitious female newscaster who, unlike him, has mastered journalism.

ETAN COHEN is one of the most sought after comedy minds in the business. Named one of Variety's “10 Screenwriter to Watch” in 2006, Cohen has written projects for some of the movies biggest directors and stars, including Jay Roach, Mike Judge, Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell.

Cohen recently wrote “Tropic Thunder”(Paramount) with Ben Stiller and Justin Theroux which is set for release on Friday, August 15th and is also one of the writers on Madagascar 2” (DreamWorks) set for release Friday, November 7th.

Cohen is repped by Jimmy Miller of Mosaic Media Group, ICM and attorney Peter Nichols.