Someone is stealing London's yard ornaments, and there's only one detective small enough for a mystery this big: Sherlock Gnomes.
This action-packed sequel to 2011's Rocket Pictures animated hit Gnomeo & Juliet is executive produced by Elton and directed by John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda).
The film features the voices of returning cast, James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Stephen Merchant and Ozzy Osbourne, plus Johnny Depp as Sherlock Gnomes, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Watson and Mary J. Blige as Irene.
"From the beginning, it was integral to a sequel that we embrace a different classic storyand 'gnomify' it," says producer Steve Hamilton Shaw. "We had a long list of ideas, but no other character matched Sherlock Holmes in terms of international awareness and offered an opportunity to push Gnomeo and Juliet into an action detective story."
"It's a love letter to London, really," offers Elton, who returns with two original songs, and whose songbook serves as the inspiration for the musical score. "There's so many great scenarios and so many different locations, it'd be incredibly boring to leave them in the garden for the whole film."
As in Gnomeo & Juliet, Elton's presence is felt throughout Sherlock Gnomes, providing some legendary music support to the proceedings.
"Elton's involvement in anything brings a whole other dimension," says Johnny Depp. "He and Bernie Taupin have written a billion classic, brilliant songs. They give so much of themselves, and put it out there for the world to hear."
John and Taupin collaborated on two new songs for the film: Better Together performed by Jessie Ware and Stronger Than I Ever Was, sung by multiple Grammy Award winner and Academy Award nominee, Mary J. Blige. Blige performs the song in character as Irene, a Victorian doll with some less than warm feelings for Sherlock.
See a bit of that performance in the clip below.
For Elton fans, the film is packed with Easter eggs, musical and visual. "Our musical score by Chris Bacon contains many references to classic Elton John melodies weaved throughout the film," director John Stevenson teases. "There's also a brief appearance by a familiar looking gnome tucked away in the film, so keep a look out!"
"Elton's music is another character in this film," says James McAvoy. "There's such a positive energy about it, and a great sense of not only nostalgia for adults who grew up listening to it, but also for the kids whose parents have played it for them. It's appealing across generations."
The soundtrack also includes new versions of Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting), Philadelphia Freedom and The One remixed and produced by Pnau, who created the UK #1 album of Elton remixes, Good Morning To The Night, in 2012.
“Chris [Bacon] and Pnau do a wonderful job. I gave them carte blanche to do whatever they want, so I'm very pleasantly surprised when I see the film and hear how it's been used. When you do an animated film, you always first see it in lumps and bits, and when you see it finished, it's so much better than you ever dreamed it would be.”
See 'Sherlock Gnomes' in 3D and 2D, now in theaters all across the US.
Sherlock Gnomes will open in the UK on May 11.
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