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Enola Holmes: Millie Bobby Brown leads the feminist retelling of a literary classic

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Kayleigh Dray
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Enola Holmes: Millie Bobby Brown.

Helena Bonham Carter and Henry Cavill star alongside Stranger ThingsMillie Bobby Brown in a fresh new twist on Sherlock Holmes. We take an inside look at film of the moment Enola Holmes, which lands on Netflix next week.

Sherlock Holmes – the fictional detective of 221B Baker Street – is the most portrayed film character in history, so you’d be forgiven for rolling your eyes at the news that another Holmes feature is arriving on our screens next week.

This one, though, comes with a twist. Because, while Henry Cavill will be bringing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary hero to life once again, this film will not focus on the sleuth himself.

Instead, the new Netflix feature will zoom in on the story of his 14-year-old sister Enola; aka Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown. Here’s everything you need to know about Enola Holmes, one of this autumn’s most anticipated new action adventures.

Enola must break free from the shadow of her brothers.

What’s the story behind Enola Holmes?

A production from Legendary, the film is an adaptation of author Nancy Springer’s book series of the same name about the adventures of budding detective Enola, Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes’ much younger sister.

Enola’s relationship with her free-spirited mother is all she’s ever known, so when the larger-than-life Eudoria Holmes mysteriously disappears, it’s up to the audacious youngster to find her.

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Clearly, sleuthing skills run in the family, since Enola is only too quick to journey to London on a dizzying quest to unearth her missing mama. But the mission is far from simple, and Enola soon finds herself corset-deep in action-drama, with a couple of murderous scoundrels hot on her heels.

To make matters worse, she must elude her interfering older brothers, who have rather set ideas of how a young lady should behave (ideas that naturally don’t involve casually karate-kicking a few villains on a high-speed steam train). 

Enola Holmes: Millie Bobby Brown
The new Netflix film gives the Sherlock Holmes novels a rip-roaring update

The result is an epic period adventure, with sweeping cinematography and more female-led combat scenes than ever seemed possible from a Victorian-age drama.

For Enola, thanks to her mother, is what the Holmes brothers call “a wild child”. She’s been raised to be her own person and is far more interested in solving whodunnits, and rooting out the world’s bad guys, than going to finishing school (as her brothers wish).

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As Enola says: “Unlike most well-bred ladies, I was never taught to embroider: I was taught to watch and listen. I was taught to fight.”

Enola must also contend with Inspector Lestrade, Conan Doyle’s rather hapless police officer whose skills of detection are no match for Enola’s own.

Helena Bonham Carter (seen here in The Crown) plays Enola's willful mother

Who stars in the cast for Enola Holmes?

An all-star cast awaits in this lavish adaptation, including Helena Bonham Carter as Enola’s willful and fiery mama. 

Alongside Cavill as Holmes and Brown in the titular role, The Hunger Games Sam Claflin completes the family unit as the lofty Mycroft Holmes. 

Killing Eve actor Fiona Shaw also stars (her character teaches Enola lessons in deportment), as well as Frances de la Tour and Chewing Gum’s Susie Wokoma. 

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Fleabag and Killing Eve director Harry Bradbeer does the honours in the director’s chair for Enola Holmes, joined by Brown who – pretty amazingly for someone who is still a teenager – doubles up her lead role with that of producer for the film.

“She’s 16 years old, but around her is this massive film and massive production, and she just carries herself with such ease through it,” Adeel Akhtar, who plays Inspector Lestrade in the movie, tells Digital Spy.

Is there a trailer for Enola Holmes?

There is: and it’s every inch as rich and immersive as you’d expect. Feast your eyes on the visual splendour, below.

When does Enola Holmes come out?

Happily, you don’t have long to wait. It arrives on Netflix next Wednesday 23 September. Get your intrepid streak fired up for then and wait for the adventure to be unleashed.

Image: Netflix

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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