Fans will have to wait an additional year for Sherlock Holmes 3 after the Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law-starrer is pushed to a December 2021 release. The duo plays the titular character and his trusted sidekick, Dr. John Watson, based on the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as they navigate different cases in the 1890s.
Sherlock Holmes 3 follows 2011's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows after the period action franchise debuted in 2009 with Sherlock Holmes - both preceding movies were directed by Guy Ritchie. Having a combined $1 billion haul at the global box office against a total of just $215 million production budget, the Sherlock Holmes franchise proved to be a profitable film series, explaining the in-process third outing despite it being stuck in development for a few years now. Originally scheduled to roll out December 25, 2020, the threequel has been delayed, and the public will have to wait a bit longer.
THR is reporting that Sherlock Holmes 3 will now hit theaters on December 22, 2021 - a full year push back from its initial release date. No explanation on what caused the delay was provided, but it's confirmed that the threequel is taking place 10 years after A Game of Shadows, which means that it'll officially be set in the 1900s. Chris Brancato is writing the script but interestingly, the movie still doesn't have a director.
Despite the delay, Sherlock Holmes 3 sticks with the Sherlock Holmes franchise's usual December release, with the previous two movies also hitting theaters in December. It's possible that the movie isn't being pushed back for a whole year production-wise, as it's more likely because Warner Bros. wants to position it as their holiday offering, considering how well it's done in the past with that release schedule. Given its new roll out date, there's a chance that Sherlock Holmes 3 will take the place of an untitled Warner Bros. Animation Event Film scheduled for a December 22, 2021 roll out, which will effectively pit it against Sony's Hotel Transylvania 4 and Universal's Wicked.
Considering there was no explanation for the delay, one wonders if it has something to do with Sherlock Holmes 3 trying to bring Ritchie back behind the camera. Given that A Game of Shadows ended on a massive cliffhanger where it was revealed that Holmes faked his death, it makes sense they would want the same guy who directed the prior films to move the story forward. Law previously hinted that the threequel will further highlight Holmes and Watson's co-dependency, which was something that Ritchie effectively encapsulated in the first two films from the franchise. Looking at the filmmaker's schedule, he's currently busy doing post-production for Disney's live-action adaptation of Aladdin, as well as star-studded crime film, Bush starring Matthew McConaughey, Michelle Dockery, Henry Golding and Hugh Grant. Maybe once his schedule clears up, he can finally commit to the threequel,