'Sherlock Gnomes': Meet the Famous Voices Behind the Characters

7:30 AM 3/23/2018

by Lindsay Weinberg

The 'Gnomeo and Juliet' sequel adds Johnny Depp as the new titular character.

William Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories merge in Sherlock Gnomes, the sequel to the animated film Gnomeo and Juliet.

From Paramount Pictures and MGM Studios, Sherlock Gnomes features James McAvoy and Emily Blunt returning to voice the famous lovers Gnomeo and Juliet, respectively. Newly unwrapped from shipping boxes, the gnomes take to the gardens of London — and soon realize someone is kidnapping gnomes.

Johnny Depp joins the cast as the moody detective Sherlock Gnomes, bringing along his crime-solving gang — Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Irene (Mary J. Blige).

Below, read more about the famous voices behind Sherlock Gnomes, which is set to hit theaters March 23.

  • James McAvoy/Gnomeo

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Dave Benett/Getty Images

    X-Men franchise star James McAvoy takes root again by voicing Gnomeo. In the sequel, he and Juliet (Emily Blunt) are living happily ever after in London, but they come back to their garden to find the other gnomes mysteriously missing. McAvoy previously voiced Arthur in Arthur Christmas and will star in the 2019 thriller Glass and voice Hazel in Watership Down, adapted from the novel of the same name. 

  • Emily Blunt/Juliet

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

    Emily Blunt returns as the leading Shakespearean lady, who teams up with Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) to help solve the not-so-garden-variety gnome-napping case. Juliet and Sherlock go undercover by wearing a squirrel costume — until they’re foiled by a curious pug. Fresh off the psychological thriller The Girl on the Train, Blunt also lent her voice to the animated films Animal Crackers and My Little Pony: The Movie. Up next for the actress: embodying the iconic nanny Mary Poppins.

  • Johnny Depp/Sherlock Gnomes

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Karwai Tang/WireImage

    In his first voice-over role in a film since Rango, Johnny Depp brings his versatile acting to portray the uptight detective based on Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Gnomes calls himself the "sworn protector of garden gnomes," leading Gnomeo and Juliet around London to solve the mystery. In addition to co-starring with Emily Blunt in Into the Woods, Depp recently starred in Murder on the Orient Express and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise.

  • Chiwetel Ejiofor/Watson

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

    Chiwetel Ejiofor enters the gnome kingdom as Sherlock’s trusty sidekick Watson. He dons a bowtie, cane and mustache for their crime-fighting adventure. Ejiofor previously played Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave, and he will voice the villainous Scar in The Lion King.

  • Mary J. Blige/Irene

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

    Mary J. Blige is gnome-ified as the adventuress Irene, one of the most famous female characters in Sherlock Holmes. Though Irene is only briefly pictured in the Sherlock Gnomes trailer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle depicts Irene Alder as a former opera performer who gains Holmes’ respect by outwitting him. This is the sixth film role for the Grammy Award-winning singer, who dropped her 13th studio album Strength of a Woman in April 2017. Blige recently showed off her acting skills as Florence in Dee Rees’ acclaimed 1940s period drama Mudbound, earning an Oscar nom for her work, and she also made appearances in The Wiz Live!, Black-ish, Empire and How to Get Away With Murder

  • Maggie Smith/Lady Blueberry

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

    When Gnomeo moves to London, he naturally brings his mother along. The legendary actress Maggie Smith, more recently known for Downton Abbey and Harry Potter, continues playing Lady Blueberry, Gnomeo’s mom, in the film. Smith won the Emmy for best supporting actress in a drama series in 2016.

  • Michael Caine/Lord Redbrick

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Dominique Charriau/WireImage

    Michael Caine puts on his red pointy hat and rejoins the cast as Juliet’s dad, Lord Redbrick, sworn enemy of Gnomeo’s mother, Lady Blueberry. The Dark Knight actor also voiced a character in Cars 2.

  • Ashley Jensen/Nanette

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Mike Marsland/WireImage

    Ashley Jensen reprises her toady role as the comedic Nanette, a slimy frog who gossips with Juliet about meeting a boy in the first film. We’ll see if Jensen, whose voice is also featured in How to Train Your Dragon, will continue the girltalk in Sherlock Gnomes

  • Matt Lucas/Benny

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

    Bridesmaids alum Matt Lucas voices Benny, Gnomeo’s somewhat daft gnome pal, based on cousin Benvolio in the play. Lucas will reunite with fellow Alice Through the Looking Glass star Johnny Depp, who plays Sherlock Gnomes.

  • Stephen Merchant/Paris

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Dave Benett/Getty Images

    Paris, a suitor of Juliet in the Shakespearean play, makes for a rather awkward and geeky gnome. Voiced by Stephen Merchant, a creator of The Office and The Ricky Gervais Show, Paris gives Juliet a romantic topiary in Gnomeo and Juliet and calls himself her “boyfriend.” Sadly, the love was unrequited.