By Darren Franich
July 13, 2011 at 02:08 PM EDT
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Every generation puts their own stamp on the legend of Sherlock Holmes, the Victorian-era detective with an encyclopedic knowledge of Victorian-era skullduggery and a casual preference for Victorian-era cocaine. The Basil Rathbone films shifted the action forward to the 1940s, with Holmes fighting Nazis; Nicholas Meyer’s The Seven-Per-Cent Solution portrayed the detective as a drug addict wrestling with semi-Freudian memories of his father murdering his mother (so basically imagine Ang Lee’s Hulk); Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen re-conceived Holmes as a mysterious, semi-mythic catalyst for the whole modern era of invention and imagination.

So 2009’s Sherlock Holmes — which layered in slow-mo explosions and homoerotic banter while essentially turning the detective into Neurotic Batman — is not by a wide margin the craziest take on the Holmes character. The first trailer for this year’s sequel, subtitled A Game of Shadows, just hit the Internet. It promises an appearance by Mad Men‘s Jared Harris as franchise big bad Moriarty, the English debut of Noomi Rapace, and an exciting action sequence set on a train. Also, Downey in drag. Why not? Watch it after the jump.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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