Natalie Dormer is set to play Irene Adler in 'Elementary.' (Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Natalie Dormer is set to play Irene Adler in 'Elementary.' (Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Natalie Dormer is set to play Irene Adler in ‘Elementary.’ (Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

CBS’ Elementary updated Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes tale by setting it in modern-day New York and making Watson female. But how will the series handle Irene Adler, the woman who entices and enchants our sociopathic detective?

Elementary has cast British actress Natalie Dormer — best-known for her roles as the doomed Anne Boleyn on The Tudors and Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones — for a three-episode arc in the role, The Hollywood Reporter reveals. On the CBS series, Irene Adler has been referenced as Sherlock’s late love interest, a victim of Moriarty’s murder spree in London. “We’re moving to the next chapter in our show – and in some ways, to a previous chapter in Holmes’ story,” says creator Rob Doherty. “Irene Adler is perhaps the most pivotal relationship in Sherlock’s life, and I can’t think of an actress better suited to the challenge than Natalie.”

Recent adaptations of the Holmes tales have presented different takes on the Adler character. In his movie, Guy Ritchie offered up Adler as a temptress with a taste for thievery (with Rachel McAdams in the role), while, in the BBC series, writer Steven Moffat and actress Lara Pulver made her a slinky dominatrix with terrorist ties and a gift for disguise. (Let’s see Elementary try and top Irene’s clever and completely starkers introduction from Sherlock.)

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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.