A hazy but upbeat report on the development of the much anticipated Sherlock Holmes 3 starring Robert Downey Jr. is provided by producer Susan Downey.
One of the producers of Sherlock Holmes 3 has given an enigmatic yet positive update about the potential third movie featuring Robert Downey Jr. as the well-known detective from the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Downey Jr. previously played a role in the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes alongside Jude Law as Watson and later appeared in the sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, in 2011.
During an interview on the UnWrapped podcast, Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell, producers of Sherlock Holmes 3, were asked about the status of the film’s development.
In response, Downey teasingly disclosed that she and Burrell had recently met with Robert Downey Jr. for lunch but did not reveal any concrete details. She suggested that while no crew has been officially hired, the project remains essential for their production company and the actor.
In 2011, reports were that a third installment of the Sherlock Holmes film franchise was in development, but no release date was confirmed until 2018. At that time, the movie was slated to hit theaters on Christmas Day in 2020. However, less than a year later, it was announced that the release would be delayed by a year to December 2021.
In recent times, the future of the film has become increasingly uncertain, with director Dexter Fletcher describing it as “on the back burner” and admitting that it is “not currently” being developed, citing doubts about Robert Downey Jr.’s interest in the project, despite having a “brilliant” script.
Nevertheless, Susan Downey, a producer on the project and Robert Downey Jr.’s wife has assured fans that the film is still a top priority.
During an appearance on the UnWrapped podcast, Susan Downey and producing partner Amanda Burell confirmed that Sherlock Holmes 3 is still very much a possibility.
According to Downey, the three of them had recently discussed the project over lunch, which remains a priority for both their company and Robert Downey Jr. However, there is yet to be a clear timeline for when the movie will be made, as they want to ensure they have the right team in place.
Despite lacking a concrete timeframe, Downey and Burell are actively seeking out new projects and considering their next move.
Robert Downey Jr. Might Exactly Need Sherlock Holmes 3 post-Marvel
Even though it’s still too early to consider Sherlock Holmes 3 as a concrete project in pre-production, this update may ease the minds of fans who have been eagerly waiting for over ten years for a new film in the series.
Given Robert Downey Jr.’s departure from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2019 and his upcoming appearances in one-off projects like Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, taking on the role of Sherlock Holmes in a new franchise could be a wise move for the actor.
This could be the right choice if he wants another guaranteed franchise success.
Since his appearance in Avengers: Endgame in 2019, Robert Downey Jr. has only starred in one film – Dolittle – which was intended to launch a new franchise. Unfortunately, the movie received negative reviews from critics and audiences, making a sequel highly unlikely.
Additionally, the big-budget production was a commercial failure, earning only $250 million at the box office, while it was predicted to need $500 million to break even.
If Robert Downey Jr. wants to pursue a new franchise after his exit from the MCU, Sherlock Holmes 3 could be an excellent opportunity. The movie has built-in name recognition from the previous two films and the classic source material.
Additionally, there currently needs to be an oversaturation of period detective movies like there is with superhero films, which could make the idea of another Sherlock Holmes installment even more enticing.
What will Sherlock Holmes 3 be about?
Back in October 2014, Downey expressed that they wanted the third movie to be the best in the series, which is a challenging goal. Therefore, the question arises as to which villain from Sherlock’s previous adventures will be the antagonist this time.
In the first film, Holmes and Watson fought against Lord Henry Blackwood, a mystical figure with aspirations of world domination, played by Mark Strong. In the second film, the iconic villain Professor James Moriarty, played by Jared Harris, was introduced as Sherlock’s arch-nemesis.
As previously stated, it seems unlikely for Jared Harris to reprise his role as Moriarty. In the second film, Holmes was supposed to have died along with Moriarty, but he faked his death and secretly returned. Moriarty might come back, with Harris potentially returning to play the role.
Holmes and Moriarty’s rivalry is crucial to the series, with the two characters complementing each other similarly to the relationship between Batman and the Joker.
Harris expressed uncertainty about reprising his role as Moriarty in an interview with Digital Spy in March 2018, stating that the last script he saw did not include the character. It is still being determined if this has changed since then.
However, it is confirmed that Sherlock Holmes 3 will be set several years after the events of A Game of Shadows, which is appropriate considering the significant amount of time that has passed in real life.
Law hinted that the upcoming Sherlock Holmes 3 movie would focus on the duo’s relationship and evolution. The actors will portray their characters who haven’t seen each other for a long time, which will be an essential aspect of the story.
Given that spin-offs are in the works, the third Sherlock Holmes movie might introduce characters and storylines that could be further developed in those shows. This approach resembles how the MCU sets up its various TV series and films.
This is something that producer Susan Downey has been talking about since October 2020, and she believes there’s potential to expand the universe and spin off characters from the third movie.
The speaker has ambitious plans to expand the Sherlock Holmes franchise but acknowledges that it will require much effort and coordination. They compare the process to building the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which took time and effort.