Sir Ian McKellen is set to play Sherlock Holmes in a new film.

The 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' actor is the latest Hollywood name to tackle the famous private detective on the big screen, signing up to play an older Holmes in 'Dreamgirls' director Bill Condon's 'A Slight Trick of the Mind'.

The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Mitch Cullin and follows a now retired Sherlock Holmes, who becomes haunted by an unsolved case from 50 years earlier about an angry husband his beautiful, but mentally unstable wife.

The story is set in 1947 and sees Holmes minus his trusty sidekick, Dr. John Watson, and away from his famed residence at Baker Street in London. In the book, Holmes now resides in a quiet village outside of the British capital with his son - who is his protégé - and his housekeeper.

BBC Films is co-producing the film, which is based on a script from 'The Duchess' screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher.

Sherlock Holmes has enjoyed a resurgence on both the big and small screen in recent years.

Robert Downey Jr. played the character in two blockbuster movies directed by Guy Ritchie, with Jude Law playing Watson.

On TV, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller both play the famous detective in modern day adaptations - Cumberbatch in 'Sherlock' in the UK, and Miller in US crime drama 'Elementary'.