With his sequel film Enola Holmes 2 hitting Netflix on November 4, director Harry Bradbeer sat down with Collider’s editor-in-chief Steve Weintraub to share a little insight on Enola Holmes’ (Millie Bobby Brown) return to screen. After the events of the first film, Enola sets out to establish her very own detective agency on the industrial streets of London. This proves to be a trickier undertaking than she’d expected, both in separating herself from her acclaimed older brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill), and tackling the difficult societal atmosphere of the times.
During the interview, Bradbeer explains why fans of the movies won’t be seeing Enola’s other brother Mycroft Holmes (Sam Claflin), how real historical events reinforced the theme of sisterhood, and how the courage to make change is relevant to today’s social climate. You can read the interview below, or watch the video above. For more on Enola Holmes 2, you can check out Collider’s review by Arezou Amin.
COLLIDER: I want to start with congratulations on the sequel. You did it again. Really fun movie. So I’m curious, was Mycroft not included because of Sam’s schedule or because you wanted to focus more on the Sherlock/Enola relationship?
HARRY BRADBEER: Well, it was Sam’s schedule. That became very clear that Sam was not going to be in it. We were very sorry that Sam couldn’t be in this one. He may be in one, if there is a future one, we would love to have him back. But that was just the practicalities of life.
That then meant, though, that we had to concentrate on Sherlock, which has some advantages in the sense that he becomes a sharp pencil if you like. You’re just having to work with that particular relationship. It had to be about Sherlock and Enola and coming together. So I guess there is some blessings in having less pieces because you can do more with what you have. But we love Sam. We absolutely love him and we would love to have him again.
The ending of the film, without getting specific, sets up a lot. I’m just curious because now that you’ve made one sequel, how much have you guys, when you were making this, how much were you sort of thinking about what could happen in the future?
BRADBEER: I didn’t think about it. I just try to tell the story as it was because you’re following your nose. You can get yourself in a jam if you try to reverse engineer. You just got to follow the nose of the character. Thinking, “Well I’m going to be heading in this direction. It feels right to me.”
I did want to bring her and Sherlock together. I wanted to bring her and Tewksbury together. I wanted them to be involved because of the case, not because of anything. The romance is incidental to her. It’s a complete heart and head-struggle. She thinks she’s not in love with Tewksbury. She just thinks he’s of use to her and similarly, she doesn’t know how much she is becoming wrapped up in Sherlock’s world. They just need each other. That’s the great stories of individuals and education plots, if you like. Our conscious selves lead us into the truth that we’re hiding.
I like how this film weaves in real history, and can you sort talk about bringing in real history and crossing it over into this world?
BRADBEER: It was so exciting. We did it in the first one with the Great Reform Act. We saw and remembered, and I kind of dusted off my memory, of the Match Girls Factory strike. I thought, “Well here’s a story of sisterhood. Here’s a story of going from a story that was about constitutional change to social and union change to industrial action.”
This was meaty stuff and we were right at the heart of it. The very first strike fought by women for women. It meant that if that was where we were leading up to, we had to find a mystery within it. Then that lost girl could take her into a story of sisterhood and cooperation, and that theme that we were interested in right from the start of the sequel was going from “I” to “we.” For a story of a girl just on her own, just managing to learn at the age of 15, to stand on her own two feet, to someone who has to survive in the real world. And that involves not just being proud and individualistic and defensive, but learning to accept help and work with others to get what you need.
That tied in with the real events of the Match Girls Strike, which was politically relevant and also relevant to today. It’s kind of sickening and exciting to think that that’s still going on. Women are still having to stand with each other – they’re doing it in Iran right now – to stand up as a group, and they can’t work without each other, and they have to stand shoulder to shoulder. And that’s a level of risk. It requires great courage. It takes courage to change and that continued a theme that we had in the first film that the mother sort of exemplifies. So it worked a whole lot of strings together for us that made sense thematically.
Enola Holmes 2 starts streaming on Netflix tomorrow.