Robert Downey Jr.’s return as the legendary literary detective in Sherlock Holmes 3 currently exists somewhere between development hell and outright purgatory. The project is still on the table at Warner Bros., but this coming December will mark ten years since A Game of Shadows, and at no point throughout the last decade has the third installment come particularly close to getting in front of cameras.
The leading man recently announced his plans to build an entire shared universe out from his version of the character, so it’s clear he hasn’t given up on the role just yet. However, director Dexter Fletcher admitted last year that Sherlock Holmes 3 is on the back burner for the foreseeable future until the industry emerges from the uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Downey Jr. hasn’t officially committed to his next project after the Dolittle debacle, but it could be while before we get any concrete updates on Sherlock Holmes 3. Jude Law is currently shooting Fantastic Beasts 3 and will then jump straight into a mustache-twirling turn as Captain Hook in Disney’s live-action remake Peter Pan & Wendy, while Fletcher is also attached to helm Universal’s blackly comedic Dracula spinoff Renfield.
However, insider Daniel Richtman is now claiming that the next movie will be the first to head Stateside, continuing the globetrotting precedent set by the first two outings, which took place in London and all across Europe respectively. That’s all the tipster offers for now, but it’s looking very likely that the earliest we can expect shooting to begin on Sherlock Holmes 3 is sometime next year, meaning it could be December 2023 or even 2024 by the time it finally hits the big screen.