It was a quirk of the pandemic that Netflix wound up with two Sherlock Holmes fanfic spinoffs in under the space of a year in 2020 and 2021 with Enola Holmes and The Irregulars. The latter, which sadly only lasted a season, had been in the Netflix pipeline since 2018; however, Enola Holmes had been entirely made under Warner Bros. Pictures and was set for theatrical release, which was then drailed by the world shutting down that spring. Warner sold the film to Netflix rather than hold it until things reopened. It was part of a strategic pruning of a rapidly growing backlog of unreleased films, and Netflix happily turned the movie into its latest teen-oriented hit.
Based on Nancy Springer's middle-grade mystery series of the same name, the stories invent a teenage sister for Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes. She runs away from boarding school and rebels against being a lady by one-upping her older brothers in the crime-solving department. The film already starred several actors associated with Netflix, making it a good fit. Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown (an executive producer of the series and a driver in getting these films made) plays Enola. Henry Cavill (The Witcher) and Sam Claflin (Peaky Blinders) star as the older Holmes brothers Sherlock and Mycroft, respectively, and Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown) is the Holmes matriarch, Eudora and mystery's missing marquess.
The 2020 film was loosely based on Springer's first book, The Case of the Missing Marquess; with six books released from 2006-2010, there was always plenty of material for a sequel, something the production had planned on should the film be a success. Netflix's announcement that it was taking over the project wholesale from Warner Bros. Pictures and that it would produce a sequel took a few months of negotiations, though, with the streaming service finally confirming it was a go in May 2021. Also, with the film's success, Springer returned to writing the character, with a brand new book out in June 2021.
Here's the synopsis for the new film, titled Enola Holmes 2.
Fresh off the triumph of solving her first case, Enola Holmes follows in the footsteps of her famous brother, Sherlock, and opens her own agency — only to find that life as a female detective-for-hire isn’t as easy as it seems. Resigned to accepting the cold realities of adulthood, she is about to close shop when a penniless matchstick girl offers Enola her first official job: to find her missing sister. But this case proves to be far more puzzling than expected, as Enola is thrown into a dangerous new world — from London’s sinister factories and colorful music halls, to the highest echelons of society and 221B Baker Street itself. As the sparks of a deadly conspiracy ignite, Enola must call upon the help of friends — and Sherlock himself — to unravel her mystery. The game, it seems, has found its feet again!
Brown, Cavill, and Bonham-Carter reprise their roles as Enola, Sherlock, and Eudora Holmes in the new film. (Sorry, Mycroft fans.) Also back from the first film: Louis Partridge (Versailles), who returns as Enola's puppy love interest, Viscount Tewkesbury, Adeel Akhtar (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain) as Lestrade, and Susie Wokoma (Cheaters) as the fictionalized version of the real-life British suffragette, Edith Margaret Garrud. Newcomers to the cast include David Thewlis (The Sandman) and Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Sex Education). Harry Bradbeer (Fleabag) once again directed from a script by Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials).
Enola Holmes 2 premieres on Netflix on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022.