The Doyle estate made a similar argument five years ago in a lawsuit against Miramax for its film Mr. Holmes — among other things, it claimed Mr. Holmes included plot details about Holmes’ retirement, which only happens in the final stories. But its new argument is a lot more abstract: basically, if this movie wants Sherlock Holmes to express emotions, its creators need to pay up.
The complaint alleges that in the public domain stories, Holmes is famously “aloof and unemotional.” Then, that changed because of his creator’s life experiences. So the estate now says Springer and Netflix are basing Enola Holmes on the personality that’s still protected. And the new personality’s key traits include relating to other people and reacting with “warmth and emotion.”