John Stow
Joe McGovern
April 16, 2015 AT 03:28 PM EDT

STARRING Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker

DIRECTED BY Bill Condon

NOT YET RATED

RELEASE DATE July 17

The most portrayed character in film may be retired, but he never quits. Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) is 93 and losing his memory as he recalls a case from 35 years earlier. “Imagine someone whose mental agility, the very thing he’s defined by, has now abandoned him,” says director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters). McKellen, 75, was aged with prosthetics, and when his makeup artists learned that the Hobbit team had needed a scant 45 minutes to transform him into Gandalf, they took it as a challenge. “By the first week,” says Condon, “they had gotten it down to 44.” Nothing like breaking a record, even if just by a (fake) nose.

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