This week, Netflix released Enola Holmes, an adaptation of Nancy Springer’s The Enola Holmes Mysteries book series, starring Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown. Director Harry Bradbeer’s film is getting positive reviews, including a 92% critic rating and 82% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 66 on Metacritic. With a strong audience and critical response and an entire series of books just waiting to be adapted, it’s no surprise that both Brown and Bradbeer are already discussing making Enola Holmes 2.
Netflix likely sees a potential cash-cow here. The first Enola Holmes movie is the seventh most watched Netflix original movie of all time. It was beaten out only by some heavy duty, star-powered action movies like Extraction and Old Guard, and one specific Adam Sandler movie (Murder Mystery) which had the star power of Jennifer Aniston involved. People watched Enola Holmes in huge numbers and they’ll likely return for Enola Holmes 2.
So with Enola Holmes out, let’s take a look at if Enola Holmes 2 could potentially happen.
When asked in an interview for Deadline about returning to this world for Enola Holmes 2, Bradbeer stated, “That decision has got to be made, but I think it would be really exciting.” Brown also concurred, “Yeah, there’s more of the story to be told. The story isn’t over yet. She isn’t grown up, there’s no conclusion. I think she’ll forever be someone who is always evolving, but there’s definitely more to be shown on screen.”
As of the day after Enola Holmes’ release, it is currently the #2 most-watched program on Netflix, and the #1 most-watched film. While it’s not clear yet if Enola Holmes will maintain it’s popularity on the streaming service, that’s a pretty strong beginning.
Netflix also has been fairly free recently with sequels for their original films starring teenage female leads. Already, 2020 has seen the release of The Kissing Booth 2, which has a third installment coming out in 2021, and the sequel to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, entitled To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, also with a third film currently in post-production. Both The Kissing Booth and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before were also based on popular book series, so that bodes well for the chances of Enola Holmes 2.
The Plot Of Enola Holmes 2
Enola Holmes is very much based on the first book in The Enola Holmes Mysteries series, The Case of the Missing Marquess and it makes sense that Enola Holmes 2 would be too. In the book and the film, Enola searches for her missing mother, while her two brothers Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, return home to begin their own search. After leaving home to find her mother, Enola also meets another missing person: the Viscount, Lord Tewksbury, a young boy she helps escape from a man trying to murder her.
The film ends with Enola on her own, sixteen, and living in a boardinghouse in London. Her mother has once again left her, and both Sherlock and Mycroft are still searching for their sister, while Lord Tewksbury is safe at home and hoping to see her again soon. It’s an open-ended enough conclusion to make audiences curious about where Enola’s story could go.
Odds are that Enola Holmes 2 would follow one of Springer’s stories, it’s just not clear which would be a suitable sequel. Instead of adapting all six books individually, it seems more likely that Netflix might try to combine multiple books into one film. For example, the second and fourth book, The Case of the Left-Handed Lady and The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan both center around Enola’s relationship with an artist, Lady Cecily Alistair, so those two stories could likely be combined into another film.
However, the third book in the series sounds as though it could be the most compelling fodder for Enola Holmes 2. In The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets, Enola continues to stay out of the grasp of Sherlock and Mycroft, while also trying to find Sherlock’s partner, Dr. John Watson, who has gone missing.
The Cast Of Enola Holmes 2
Considering how excited they seem at the prospect of doing a sequel, it seems extremely likely that Enola Homes 2 would feature Brown, with Bradbeer behind the camera.
Beyond that, a through-line of The Enola Holmes Mysteries seems to be Enola’s constant escaping from her brothers, so it would be a surprise and a shame if Henry Cavill and Sam Claflin didn’t return for Enola Holmes 2 as Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, respectively. Enola’s mother Eudoria is also a major part of Enola Holmes, as much of the film is told through flashbacks to Enola’s childhood with her mother. Considering how much of Enola Holmes focuses on her mother, one would imagine Helena Bonham Carter would reprise her role as Eudoria.
While it doesn’t seem that his character makes much of an impression in future stories, Enola Holmes does set up Tewkesbury as a character Enola will spend more time with in the future, so one would imagine that Louis Partridge might at least make a cameo in this role for Enola Holmes 2.
Critical And Fan Response So Far
Based on early reviews and audience reactions, it looks as though there would certainly be excitement for Enola Holmes 2. The Playlist’s Rodrigo Perez said of the film, “While Enola Holmes’ empowering feminist message might feel a little on the nose at times, the film, is nevertheless, a witty and endearing little bauble with terrific elan.” Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com said, “This may be the start of a most welcome girl-powered franchise.”
Not all the reviews have been positive, however. The A.V. Club’s Jesse Hassenger wrote, “Without much of a mystery to solve, this young Holmes comes across more like a junior-level Wonder Woman: intelligent and highly trained yet puzzled by this unfamiliar, unfair world of men,” while Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said, “A bright young actress, a movie-star actor and a potentially interesting concept gets smothered in 128 minutes of colorful, empty nonsense.”
My own review of Enola Holmes was less positive. I said, “As an attempt to make a Holmes-level story for a younger generation, Enola Holmes doesn’t know how to effectively present a mystery on screen. As a story of feminism in a time where women had precious few rights, Enola Holmes is more successful. It’s just a shame the fight for those rights rarely becomes the film’s focus.”
Given the star and director’s willingness to return to the world of Enola Holmes, the abundance of books that could be adapted, and Netflix’s frequent decision to make franchises out of their teenage female-centered original films, it would seem crazy for Netflix to not continue the story with Enola Holmes 2.