I know this is confusing, but this podcast was recorded between the Bret McKenzie and the Edgar Wright one. I just wanted to get the Edgar one up before tonight's programming began at the New Beverly.
The first time I met Guy Ritchie, Harry and I were trying to get him to bring "Snatch" to Butt-Numb-A-Thon. We had lunch with him and with Matthew Vaughn, who was still Guy's producer at the time, and by the end of the lunch, we had the film, and I'd really come to like the two of them just as film fans and guys.
The next time I saw him was on the set of "Sherlock Holmes," and he'd covered quite a bit of ground as a person and as a filmmaker in the years between those encounters. What struck me about that encounter was that he seemed to have made a choice about what he wanted, and that choice involved giant-budget tentpole movies. I certainly don't think that big-budget films are "better" than independent movies, or vice-versa, but I do think that the best way to get some creative freedom is by making a studio some serious money. Ritchie was coming off a series of misfires like "Swept Away" and "Revolver," and it seemed fitting that he had Robert Downey Jr. starring in his film, as Downey had also made that jump into franchise filmmaking with a real passion.
Now, as Ritchie prepares to release his first sequel, we sat down to talk about how he approached his interpretation of Professor Moriarty, the most famous villain ever faced by Sherlock Holmes, and how he felt about stepping back into the world. It's a pretty loose conversation, one of two I had with Ritchie last week. You'll see the other one as a video interview sometime this week.