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Mr. Holmes lawsuit settled, says Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate attorney

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Giles Keyte

A settlement has been reached between the makers of the movie Mr. Holmes and the estate of Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, according to an attorney for the estate.

The film, which was released in July, stars Ian McKellen as a retired Sherlock Holmes who gets involved in an unsolved mystery. Mr. Holmes is based on writer Mitch Cullin’s book A Slight Trick of the Mind, a Sherlock Holmes story which, Doyle’s estate alleged, infringed on some of Doyle’s stories that remain under copyright.

The lawsuit, filed in May, named Miramax, Roadside Attractions, and Mr. Holmes director Bill Condon, author Mitch Cullin, and Penguin Random House. Benjamin Allison, attorney for the Doyle estate, said Thursday that the estate has reached an agreement in principle with the filmmakers. Allison added that a separate agreement finalized with Cullin and the book’s publisher added an acknowledgement to the use of material from copyrighted Sherlock Holmes stories to the ebook version of A Slight Trick of the Mind.

Allison offered no details on the settlement, saying only, “the Conan Doyle Estate is very pleased.”

When asked for comment, a Miramax spokesperson said, “We do not comment on ongoing litigation.” (According to Allison, an agreement was made with Miramax before the U.S. release of Mr. Holmes and is in the process of being finalized.)

Roadside Attractions did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

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