Apatow, Miller to produce Columbia comedy

Columbia Pictures has set an untitled comedy that will star Sacha Baron Cohen as master detective Sherlock Holmes and Will Ferrell as Watson, his crime-solving partner.

Etan Cohen (“Tropic Thunder”) is writing the script, and Judd Apatow and Jimmy Miller will produce.

The comedy is inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales. Though the thrust is different, the Baron Cohen-Ferrell pairing is the second major studio project featuring the supersleuth, as Warner Bros. is prepping the Anthony Peckham-scripted drama “Sherlock Holmes” with director Guy Ritchie.

The Col project reteams Baron Cohen and Ferrell, who played rival racecar drivers in Columbia’s 2006 hit comedy “Talladega Nights,” which Apatow and Miller also produced.

“Just the idea of Sacha and Will as Sherlock Holmes and Watson makes us laugh,” said Col co-prexy Matt Tolmach. “Sacha and Will are two of the funniest and most talented guys on the planet, and having them take on these two iconic characters is frankly hilarious.”

Baron Cohen, who most recently starred in “Sweeney Todd,” has been filming “Bruno,” based on his character creation, for Media Rights Capital, with Universal Pictures distributing domestically.

Ferrell, who just wrapped “Land of the Lost” for Universal, will next be seen starring for Col in “Step Brothers.” That film reteams him with “Talladega Nights” co-star John C. Reilly, director Adam McKay and producers Apatow and Miller.

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