Guy Ritchie has enjoyed a cult following in America for his British gangster flicks like Snatch and Rocknrolla. He's been more famous for his marriage to, and divorce from, Madonna. This Christmas, everyone will know his directing skills. His Sherlock Holmes film is likely to get noticed for its own merits.

"I hope so," said producer Susan Downey, wife of Sherlock actor Robert Downey, Jr. "He did an amazing job, on a scale that no one's seen him work on before. He delivered. I think it's going to surprise people."

Ritchie's British films were characterized by kinetic violence and flashy camera work. He didn't have to tone that down for Holmes. "You'll see the flare and you'll see Guy's touch on it, but it's a whole different canvas," Downey continued.

Warner Brothers is expected to show footage from Sherlock Holmes at this week's San Diego Comic Con, including a panel discussion with the filmmakers for fans packing the convention center's Hall H. Joel Silver, who also produced, and has shepherded major films like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and The Matrix, is also pleased to brag about Ritchie's film.

"It's fantastic," Silver said. "I think it's a triumph that really is fantastic."

Sherlock Holmes opens this Christmas.

Sherlock Holmes © Warner Bros.

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Story/Interview by Fred Topel

Starpulse contributing writer

(Starpulse in Hollywood): Every week, Hollywood's biggest stars are meeting in the hot spots and Starpulse is there.