Leave it to Robert Downey Jr. to turn Sherlock Holmes into a wisecracking action hero who ends up handcuffed naked to a bed.

Downey offered a sneak peek Tuesday of Sherlock Holmes, his new take on the cerebral detective created by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Theatre owners attending their annual ShoWest convention got to see Downey’s Holmes in a bruising boxing match, diving from a tall building into London’s Thames River and trading barbs with roommate Dr. Watson (Jude Law), who complains about the detective’s slovenliness and nocturnal violin playing.

“Holmes, does your depravity know no bounds?” Watson asks the detective.
In one scene, the unclothed Holmes finds himself cuffed by both hands to a bed.

Downey also turns the detective into something of a ladies man as his Holmes gets a romantic interest (Rachel McAdams).

Conan Doyle’s Holmes lived a monk’s life, save for one purely platonic dalliance with a female foil whose intellect he greatly admired.

Despite the saucy swagger and attitude of Downey’s Sherlock Holmes, directed by Guy Ritchie, the actor said the movie is true to the spirit of Conan Doyle’s stories, which have plenty of action.

Past screen adaptations of Holmes stories just “never had the money to do it right,” Downey said.

Downey joked that after his superhero flick Iron Man had a blockbuster opening weekend last year, his agents told him he had a window of the next hour and a half where he could do anything he wanted in Hollywood. His agents told him “don’t do anything crazy,” Downey said.

Released by Warner Bros., Sherlock Holmes is due in theatres Christmas Day.

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