The meerschaum pipe, that is. As in, that's the kind of pipe Sherlock Holmes smokes, and Robert Downey, Jr. is going to play Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie's upcoming movie about the fictional English detective. ...Was that too obscure a reference to make in the pursuit of a cleverly suggestive and potentially scandalous headline? Maybe, but I have no regrets.
According to Variety, Downey has chosen the high-profile gig -- and prestigious role -- to be his first job after dazzling audiences in Iron Man this past May. Filming begins in October, and the movie appears to be in a race against a comedic film about Holmes that's also in development, starring Sacha Baron Cohen as the detective and Will Ferrell as Dr. Watson. Hopefully, that doesn't mean that Downey's Holmes will be completely humorless to differentiate the two -- after all, it was Downey's blend of snark and pathos that made America fall in love with Tony Stark. (Not that Holmes should be snarky. Did they even have snark in the 1890s?)
And if Downey was the perfect Tony Stark because of his history of living life in the fast lane, then he should be a great Holmes as well, since Holmes is often portrayed as a total party animal, employing both the nose candy and the [invent and insert hip nickname for morphine here] in his pursuit of the truth. Also, this is a Guy Ritchie movie, and characters in Guy Ritchie movies do drugs as often as people in other movies have hot meals. However, since Ritchie's Holmes (based on more recent comic book depictions) is as much of a fighter as a thinker, the physical training he did for Iron Man should also come in handy, as should his mastery of disguise for Tropic Thunder. And as far as the complaint that he's not English... well, let's just say that Downey has done more British accents than he's done court appearances. And that's saying something.