Robert Downey Jr. knows a thing or two about cinematic universes having been integral to the success of the one launched by Marvel Studios, after he played the title role in the upstart production company’s first self-funded feature before spending the next decade as the face of the entire franchise and the focal point of the marketing for any of the movies he appeared in, whether Iron Man was the main character or not.
The 55 year-old’s other blockbuster series is currently on hold after Sherlock Holmes 3 director Dexter Fletcher confirmed that the project had been put on the back burner, with the logistics of such a production not being particularly feasible in the current climate. Both installments earned over $500 million apiece at the box office, but there’s no guarantee that audiences will turn out in the same numbers for a third outing that’s set to arrive at least a decade later.
Insider Daniel Richtman now claims, though, that RDJ is developing an entire Sherlock Holmes universe for HBO Max, which isn’t exactly surprising news seeing as the actor more or less confirmed it himself back in October when he and wife Susan revealed plans for their Team Downey company to expand the franchise onto the small screen and develop various spinoffs for both film and television.
Sherlock Holmes is already one of the most heavily adapted figures in history, of course, and there’s always a new twist on the tale waiting just around the corner. Netflix’s Enola Holmes was recently a huge hit, while the streaming service also has The Irregulars and Sherlock Junior in the works. An entire HBO Max universe might be overkill, though, unless we get Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Will Ferrell, Johnny Lee Miller and Ian McKellen together for an Avengers-style adventure made up entirely of Sherlocks.