How the Vague Title for the Sherlock Holmes Sequel (Possibly) Came to Be

And the title for the Sherlock Holmes sequel will be... Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. This one lends itself to a lot of questions. What are the rules to this game? And what is objective of the shadows? Are they the shadows of the people playing or different neutral shadows that show up only to play games? Really though, the latest string of title announcements, from Transformers to The Dark Knight, really just has me wondering what the brainstorming process is like for these goofy, completely meaningless franchise titles. Fortunately, I stumbled across (read: made up) a transcript from the crucial studio executive meeting that birthed this latest title. Read on to see how the magic happens.

STUDIO EXEC 1: All right, let's make this quick. We've got 27 more sequels in the pipeline that can't have numbers in the title.

STUDIO EXEC 2: How about A Game of Shadows?

STUDIO EXEC 1: You suggest that for every movie.

STUDIO EXEC 2: Only because it could fit any of them.

STUDIO EXEC 3: I was thinking Sherlock Holmes Rising?

STUDIO EXEC 1: They used that for the Batman one already.

STUDIO EXEC 3: Oh. I think it could work again.

STUDIO EXEC 1: Hmm. (to SECRETARY) Put Sherlock Holmes Rising on the "maybe" list.

STUDIO EXEC 2: What about like, Holmes-ophobia or maybe a Holmes-oerotic Adventure? Because, you know the relationship between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in the first one was kind of...

STUDIO EXEC 3: I think that's a really bad idea.

STUDIO EXEC 1: Yeah, it is. But it might get some extra headlines...

STUDIO EXEC 3: It's the new Sherlock Holmes movie. We don't need extra headlines.

STUDIO EXEC 1: Yeah, OK. What else?

STUDIO EXEC 3: What about Sherlock Holmes and the Case of... something or other?

STUDIO EXEC 1: Sounds too much like a mystery.

STUDIO EXEC 3: But it's Sherlock Holmes.

STUDIO EXEC 1: People want action and banter, not some title that makes them think the movie is smarter than them.

STUDIO EXEC 2: Besides, Guy Ritchie's directing again.

STUDIO EXEC 3: Oh right.

STUDIO EXEC 1: What else?


STUDIO EXEC 2: I really think A Game of Shadows could work for this one.

STUDIO EXEC 3: What does that even mean?

STUDIO EXEC 2: I think it sounds cool.

STUDIO EXEC 1: Guys, seriously, we need to hurry. I've got a date tonight.

STUDIO EXEC 2: Me too.

STUDIO EXEC 3: Me too.


STUDIO EXEC 1: Well, does Game of Shadows have anything to do with this script?

STUDIO EXEC 2: I mean, games are fun right? And we all have shadows. Plus it's kind of got a cool dark edge. Like that Transformers title.

STUDIO EXEC 1: Let me rephrase. Did either of you actually read the script?

Long Silence. Exec 2 looks at his watch

STUDIO EXEC 3: You know, Game of Shadows is kind of starting to grow on me.

STUDIO EXEC 1: OK. What have we got so far?

SECRETARY: Um, Sherlock Holmes Rising and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

STUDIO EXEC 1: Christ. You guys want to flip a coin or something?

Both look at each other and nod. STUDIO EXEC 3 produces a coin. Moment of truth!

And here we are! See you all December 16!