When you think of Robert Downey Jr., you think of Tony Stark/Iron Man, though in the early 2010s he was also making waves as the most famous detective of all time. Guy Ritchie’s 2009’s Sherlock Holmes put an upbeat and pop-infused spin on the character, with Downey Jr. and Jude Law teaming up to foil an explosive threat to Victorian London. It was a hit, though was ultimately eclipsed by its sequel, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.
This 2011 movie reunited Ritchie, Downey Jr. and Law with the killer addition of Jared Harris as the criminal mastermind Moriarty. Like the original, it was an action-infused adventure, but expanded the scope to Europe and incorporated various elements from Arthur Conan Doyle’s original books.
Despite receiving mixed reviews, the movie quickly became a monster hit, grossing $545 million against a $125 million budget. Now it’s having another moment in the sun, as the last week has seen it inexorably climbing the streaming charts to even make the top ten on HBO Max, per FlixPatrol.
So, with all this renewed interest in Downey Jr.’s take on Sherlock Holmes, where’s the third entry in the franchise? A second sequel has been in the works since 2011, though has never gotten off the ground. Over that time, we’ve seen periodic updates from Warner Bros. that scripts are being worked on, but nothing has been greenlit.
However, in 2020 we got an interesting report that Rob wants to use his Marvel Studios experience to expand this world out into its own cinematic universe, saying that the character could be as big as Iron Man. He’s mooted further sequels, spin-off movies, an HBO Max television show, and various other media in a shared MCU-style universe. As yet there are no official announcements, but perhaps the success of Game of Shadows means we’ll see some news soon.
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows is currently streaming on Netflix.