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Why 'Enola Holmes' was the perfect fit for Millie Bobby Brown to make her producing debut

By Tracy Brown, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Enola Holmes has been raised to believe she could do anything and be anyone.

After the 16-year-old discovers that her mother has disappeared, she reunites with her estranged older brothers, Sherlock - the famous detective - and Mycroft, who are surprised to learn that Enola has not had the most traditional upbringing.

But when Mycroft decides Enola needs to be sent to a boarding school for a chance to be molded into an acceptable member of society, she runs away to solve the mystery of their missing mother on her own.

"She's trying to find who she is while being smothered by her famous last name, trying to find her mother and understand if she likes the boy," said Millie Bobby Brown, the Emmy-nominated "Stranger Things" star who plays Enola and also produced the Netflix/Legendary Pictures film, which is now streaming. "Everybody else wants to control her life, specifically men."

Directed by Harry Bradbeer, the Emmy Award-winning director of "Fleabag," "Enola Holmes" is based on the young-adult detective novel by Nancy Springer. The screenplay was adapted by prolific British writer Jack Thorne, whose credits include the play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" and the TV series "His Dark Materials."

"The thing that I noticed first about the script was that it was about my favorite topic, which is dysfunctional families coming to terms with each other," said Bradbeer, who has long been a fan of Sherlock Holmes. "It struck me that (this film) brought one of my enthusiasms and another - which is Sherlock - together. You got to see him from another side and you got to meet his mother, and better understand the character who was always meant to be quite unknowable."

 

Though Sherlock (Henry Cavill) is a presence in the film, the story focuses on Enola finding her own path. The teen sleuth is intelligent, observant, opinionated, capable, stubborn and very vocal that she has no interest in what is traditionally expected of young women.

It was Enola herself who appealed to Paige Brown, the star's older sister and a self-described "bookworm," who helped start the journey for the film to get made after reading Springer's "Enola Holmes Mysteries" series.

"(Enola) really just struck me as a really great character," said Paige Brown. "Millie at the time was a bit younger (than Enola) but I was thinking ahead and thought, 'This would be really great on screen.'"

Paige introduced the books to Millie, and it didn't take much for her to get on board with a film project.

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