Netflix settle ‘Enola Holmes’ lawsuit with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate

The Millie Bobby Brown-starring film landed the streaming service in trouble with the 'Sherlock' author's estate

Netflix has reached a settlement with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate over the movie Enola Holmes.

Millie Bobby Brown plays the titular Holmes in the film, the younger sister of fictional detective Sherlock.

Doyle’s estate filed a lawsuit against Netflix, Legendary Pictures, Nancy Springer – who wrote the Enola Holmes Mysteries book series the movie was based on – and her publisher Random House in June, citing copyright infringement for the portrayal of Sherlock.


In Enola Holmes, Sherlock (played by Henry Cavill) is depicted as kind-hearted – similar to how Doyle’s later Sherlock stories portrayed him. These final tales are the only Sherlock Holmes stories that the author’s estate still owns the rights to, with the rest of his work entering the public domain in 2014.

Because Cavill’s Sherlock is similar in tone to the character shown in the stories Doyle’s estate still owns the rights to, they claimed the film was infringing upon their copyright.

On Friday (December 18), the New Mexico Federal Court dismissed the lawsuit, with the parties reaching a settlement. The terms of that settlement have not been disclosed and it is not been made public whether it was decided that the film did infringe on Doyle’s copyright.

According to Screen Rant, the settlement means Netflix can now go ahead with work on an Enola Holmes sequel.


In a four-star review of Enola Holmes, NME said: “Guy Ritchie’s box office-busting reboot Sherlock Holmes kick-started a franchise in 2009 – thanks largely to the chemistry of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law – and Enola Holmes might prove an even bigger hit.”