Before the first Sherlock Holmes was even released there was already talk of a sequel. Much of that talk surrounded the classic Sherlock Holmes villain, Moriarty, who was even rumored to be played by Brad Pitt (that rumor continues to rear its head every so often). Whoever the villain, we all know Sherlock Holmes 2 is inevitable and today we learn we’ll be seeing it sooner, rather than later.

Shortly after the news surfaced that Robert Downey Jr. wouldn’t be playing Cowboys & Aliens, we get word that the reason for his departure from that project was a scheduling clash with the shoot for Sherlock Holmes 2 (as fellow Screen Rant writer Rob Keyes successfully guessed at simple smile Sherlock Holmes 2 Starts Shooting This Summer ). EW has a source inside the production that says even though the project has yet to be green-lit (it’s only a matter of time, though), the studio is nonetheless fast-tracking it after the success of the first film (it’s almost at the $300 million worldwide mark at the box office on a $90 million budget).

Warner Bros. has apparently already commissioned a script from Kieran and Michele Mulroney (who both wrote and directed the 2009 comedy/drama, Paper Man), instead of using any of the three screenwriters that wrote the first Holmes installment. They are now trying to lock down the cast (which will include RDJ, and most likely the return of Jude Law and Rachel McAdams) for a June shooting start date.  Cowboys & Aliens was set to start shooting in July. I guess the classic detective won out over cowboys and aliens battling it out…

I enjoyed Guy Ritchie’s take on Sherlock Holmes (Screen Rant head honcho Vic Holterman loved it), and am looking forward to what’s to come from the franchise. It remains to be seen whether Ritchie will follow RDJ and direct the second one, but I can’t see any reason why he wouldn’t. He has proven to WB that he can deliver a Holmes movie that simultaneously entertains new audiences while still satisfying purists (yes there are Sherlock Holmes purists out there), and in my opinion Ritchie would be crazy to turn down the opportunity to direct a second installment.

Only time will tell if Moriarty – who quasi-appeared in the first film – will be the villain in the sequel. Don’t they have to use him, at least at some point?

Are you happy to see another Sherlock Holmes on the way so soon after the first? Do you think RDJ was right to leave Cowboys & Aliens for it? What direction would you like the sequel to take?

As stated, Sherlock Holmes 2 is set to start shooting this June. Presumably we’d see it hit theaters sometime in 2011.

Source: EW (Hollywood Insider)