Over a decade since the Guy Ritchie duology’s second instalment hit cinemas, HBO Max and Warner Bros have now set their sights on expanding the Sherlock Holmes universe with two spin-off properties. And before you ask: yes. Leading man Robert Downey Jr is involved. Just not in the capacity you were expecting.
Variety indicates the shows will be set in the very same canon established in Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), inspired by the classic works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but the focus won’t be upon RDJ’s titular detective. Nor will it be Jude Law’s faithful Dr John Watson. Sources reveal we’ll be following the adventures of a new character to be introduced in Sherlock Holmes 3. Oh yeah… apparently we’re also receiving another movie.
“Originally slated for a December 2020 release that was then pushed to December 2021, the third film has been delayed by the pandemic and currently has no new release date,” writes Nellie Andreeva and Peter White of Deadline.
“The future of the potential series hinges on the fate of that potential third movie instalment.”
“While trying to navigate Downey Jr’s schedule, both the actor and the third movie’s director Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman) – who succeeded the first two film’s helmer Guy Ritchie – have publicly expressed their commitment to making it.”
Robert Downey Jr and his wife/producing partner Susan Downey first discussed creating Sherlock Holmes spin-offs long before HBO Max entered the conversation back in 2020. The duo, who have previously produced the likes of HBO’s brilliantly executed Perry Mason and Netflix’s Sweet Tooth, will now executive produce alongside Amanda Burrell of Team Downey, Lionel Wigram of Wigram Productions, and Warner Bros Television.
At the current stage, however, representatives from HBO Max and Warner Bros Television have declined to comment. It’s also unclear whether Robert Downy Jr himself will reprise his role as the eccentric sleuth-for-hire.