The Office star Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch will play Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes in an update of the detective stories set in modern day London.

The BBC project is being co-created by new Doctor Who director Steven Moffat and comic actor/writer Mark Gatiss, according to broadcastnow.co.uk.

The remake will cast Holmes as a ‘dynamic superhero’ who is driven by his own arrogance to outwit the police.

The BBC has also named Rupert Graves (God on Trial) as Inspector Lestrade and Coky Giedroyc (Virgin Queen, Oliver Twist) as director.

Piers Wenger, BBC Wales head of drama, said: “Our Sherlock is a dynamic superhero in a modern world, an arrogant, genius sleuth driven by a desire to prove himself cleverer than the perpetrator and the police, everyone in fact.”

The 60-minute drama will be produced by Hartswood Films, and is due to start shooting in Wales and London in January 2009. Moffat promised that Holmes and Watson’s characters will remain true to the original books by Arthur Conan Doyle, but that they will jettison the Victorian costumes and trappings.

“Conan Doyle’s original stories were never about frock coats and gas light; they’re about brilliant detection, dreadful villains and blood-curdling crimes – and frankly, the hell with the crinoline,” he said.

“Other detectives have cases, Sherlock Holmes has adventures and that’s what matters.”

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