Bill Condon will direct McKellen in adaptation of Mitch Cullins' novel 'A Slight Trick Of The Mind'

Ian McKellen is to play a retired Sherlock Holmes in a forthcoming film called A Slight Trick Of The Mind.

The film will be adapted from Mitch Cullins‘ novel of the same name in which Holmes, now elderly and plagued by failing memory, attempts to crack a 50-year-old case that he never managed to solve.

Bill Condon will direct from a script by Jeffrey Hatcher (Stage Beauty, The Duchess). Condon and McKellen previously worked together on 1998’s Gods And Monsters, in which McKellen starred as late horror film director James Whale and earned himself an Oscar nomination. The director’s subsequent films include Dreamgirls, the last two Twilight movies and The Fifth Estate, the upcoming film in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Condon will start shooting A Slight Trick Of The Mind next April (2014) in the UK, The Hollywood Reporter says.

McKellen will join an illustrious list of actors to have played Holmes over the years including Robert Downey Jr, Jonny Lee Miller, Basil Rathbone, Roger Moore and Frank Langella. In the meantime, Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as a more youthful Holmes in season three of Sherlock, which is due to air on BBC1 this autumn.