Chris Columbus has a penchant for films about kids who feel abandoned (from Home Alone to Stepmom), which may be why his screenplay for Young Sherlock Holmes centers on a lonely British schoolboy who seems to anticipate Harry Potter (whose first two films Columbus would direct nearly two decades later).
Unlike the adult Holmes, Rowe is an emotional teen with an obvious crush on a girl; his failure to save her life when she’s captured by occultists is the ostensible reason for the adult Holmes’ emotional detachment and aversion to romance. He does, however, make a lifelong friend in classmate John Watson (Alan Cox). Barry Levinson’s film, which features some pioneering CGI work, also explains the origins of Holmes’ cape, pipe and deerstalker cap.
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