Over a decade has passed since Robert Downey Jr. last suited up as Baker Street’s most famous resident, and nearly five years have passed since a third installment of the RDJ-lead Sherlock Holmes film series was officially announced, though despite production stalling to a halt, the actor is still holding out hope that a third film will materialize—eventually.
While it was initially reported all the way back in 2011 that work had begun on a third Sherlock Holmes film, the project wasn’t given its release date until 2018, promising to hit theaters on Christmas Day of 2020. Less than a year later it was reported that Sherlock Holmes 3 would be pushed back by a full year to December 2021. Since then, things have been looking progressively bleaker and bleaker for the film, with director Dexter Fletcher declaring the project “on the back burner” and as recently as this week confirming the project is “not currently” in development, citing a lack of faith in Downey Jr.‘s “appetite” for the film – despite a “brilliant” script. However, Susan Downey—Team Downey producer and wife to RDJ—has assured fans that the film is still very much a priority.
Speaking on the UnWrapped podcast, Downey, joined by producing partner Amanda Burell, insisted Sherlock Holmes 3 is still very much in the cards: “well, here’s what I can tell you. And Amanda can attest to this. Prior to this, we had lunch together with Robert, the three of us. And it was a very specific topic of conversation,” the producer said. “So yes, it is in the hopper. We’re going to do it when it’s right, with the right people, but it is a priority for the company and a priority for Robert.” While there was no indication of when said right time may be, Downey assured fans that she and Burell “really push, push, push” on prospective projects, always considering “what can we do next?”
But How Would a New Sherlock Holmes Work?
When we spoke with Guy Ritchie a few months ago about the prospects of Sherlock Holmes 3, the writer-director indicated that the ball was firmly in Downey‘s court, telling Collider:
“Well, honestly, I left this up to Robert [Downey Jr.]. So Robert wanted to be in charge of this. The ball’s in his court, so he’s in charge of the script, he’s in charge of the whole thing. I’ve moonwalked out of that until there’s a time for me to get involved.”
Susan Downey seemed confident that production on a third Sherlock Holmes film would not be forced, saying, “I do know, like, there are times where just I’ve had more years of experience to know when to settle down and follow the process. Like, as much as we want to will that into existence, you have to let a couple of things happen before you do the big push, and maybe it gets there on its own.” While this will be of little comfort to fans who have awaited a third installment into the franchise for over a decade, one can hope that the script that does cause Team Downey to finally move forward with the project will be one that is certainly worth the wait.