Icon, See-Saw, FilmNation, Anne Carey, BBC Films on board the feature about a retired Sherlock Holmes.

Icon’s production arm, director Bill Condon and actor Sir Ian McKellen are teaming on A Slight Trick of the Mind.

Set to film next April in the UK, the film will be produced by Anne Carey, through her new venture Archer Gray Productions; Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films; and Aviv Giladi, CEO of Icon/AI Film.

Excutive producers are Len Blavatnik and BBC Films head Christine Langan. BBC Films is also co-financing. 

Based on a novel of the same name by Mitch Cullin, the screenplay is being adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher.

Set in 1947, the film follows a long-retired Sherlock Holmes, who lives in a sleepy Sussex village with his housekeeper and her amateur-sleuthing son.

But rather than enjoying a peaceful retirement, the famous Baker Street detective is haunted by an unsolved case from 50 years ago. He remembers only fragments: a confrontation with an angry husband, a secret bond with his beautiful but unstable wife.

Icon will finance and produce under its Al Film banner, the production arm of the Icon UK Group owned by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries.

The film is the second collaboration between The Fifth Estate director Condon and The Lord of the Rings star McKellen, who also worked together on Gods and Monsters. Written and directed by Condon, Gods and Monsters won the best screenplay at the Oscars and earned McKellen a best actor nomination.

Anne Carey said: “Mitch Cullin’s elegiac novel is not so much about solving a mystery, as it is about accepting life’s mysteries.  I could not be more excited about the talent who have come together to make this film a reality.”

AI Film CEO Aviv Giladi added: “Bill Condon and Ian McKellen are a perfect match for this clever and intriguing project, the third on our current production slate.  The next few months will be exciting as we move closer to shooting with our producer partners Anne Carey and Iain Canning.”

Previously announced AI Film productions include Martin Scorsese’s Silence with Emmett/Furla Films, Corsan Films and IM Global, which is due to shoot in Taiwan in July next year starring Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe. 

AI Film is also co-financing and producing the musical event film about Elton John, Rocketman, with Rocket Pictures. The film was acquired for US distribution by FilmDistrict in June.