1. He’s a whole lot older.
2. McKellen’s Sherlock may not be quite so cold.
He managed to infuse warmth into characters like Magneto and Gandalf. Surely his Sherlock Holmes — for once, actually a human — will do the same.
3. Jokes about Sherlock’s relationship with Watson will take on a whole new meaning.
What are the chances that McKellen might play the great detective as a gay man? It doesn’t seem entirely unlikely, and it would be an interesting twist on the old character.
4. There’s a chance he could get Patrick Stewart to play Watson.
Nothing against Martin Freeman, but Stewart would make an incredible sidekick.
— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) December 11, 2013
5. Sherlock will wear more clothes.
Maybe. Whatever the case, it’s hard to picture McKellen visiting the Queen’s residence wearing nothing but a bed sheet.
6. Technology won’t be as important.
Even if McKellen keeps his version of Sherlock Holmes in the present day, it doesn’t seem likely that he would be quite so tech-savvy. It’s not every Sherlock, after all, that can send anonymous texts to hundreds.
7. Teenage girls won’t swoon so much.
McKellen is a fine-looking older man. But most young women are looking for something a little more Cumberbatch-y in their crushes.
8. It will be a movie.
Not that this is certain, but McKellen generally works in either theater or film. TV would be a surprising change.
9. The average age of the supporting cast will rise.
You can’t surround an older Sherlock with a bunch of young things. That’s just not fair.
10. Moriarty won’t stand a chance.
Yes, Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes eventually beat the dastardly Moriarty at his own game. But the outcome was never certain and the price was high. So, what foe could ever stand a chance against the great Sir Ian McKellen? Even the X-Men had trouble with that one.