Robert Downey Jr. may be cinematically synonymous with Marvel’s genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, Tony Stark/Iron Man, but lest we forget, the actor has also headlined the Sherlock Holmes movie franchise - starring as the eccentric, eponymous detective in the Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes (2009) and its sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), both of which have grossed over half a billion dollars worldwide.
Before A Game of Shadows had even been released into theaters, Warner Bros. Pictures had started development on Sherlock Holmes 3. However, the process stalled due to RDJ’s ironclad commitment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In April, RDJ revealed during the press tour for Captain America: Civil War that he, Ritchie, and costar Jude Law (who plays Holmes’ colleague and partner in crime, Dr. Watson) were working towards getting the ball rolling on filming - a tricky venture, given the fact that RDJ will soon be tied up in filming both Avengers: Infinity War movies back to back.
Now, though, it looks as if things may indeed be (finally) moving forward on a third Sherlock Holmes film. In an interview with Collider, Sherlock Holmes 3 producer Joel Silver (while promoting Shane Black's The Nice Guys) revealed that, despite RDJ’s hectic schedule, filming may very well begin by the end of the year. Fortunately, RDJ isn’t due to reprise his Marvel role until early 2017, leaving a sizable gap in the actor’s schedule. “It looks like it could happen this fall,” Silver said. “We have a script that we like. Jude is available, and Downey is available, and we’re hoping we can get it done. If it works, great. If not, we’ll do it another time. But it looks like it could happen now.”
Although the Sherlock Holmes cinematic juggernaut has slowed as a result of scheduling conflicts (RDJ aside, director Ritchie has been wrapping up post-production of his King Arthur film, which costars Law), Silver revealed that this may not be the last time we see RDJ and Law reprise their roles as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mystery-solving, dynamic duo on the big screen. “I hope [it’s not the last one]. I don’t think so," Silver admitted. "How many Bond films have they made? As long as there’s a character, we can work with it. It’s not an end story. We can keep going as long as people want to do it.”
Due to RDJ’s incredible popularity (fueled, in part, by his large MCU role), chances are high that people will continue to flock to theaters to watch one of their favorite superheroes moonlight as a nineteenth-century English detective. And while this might make the production process for Sherlock Holmes 3 (and any subsequent films) more difficult, safe to say it will also help guarantee the success of the franchise. Should the cameras indeed begin rolling by the fall, it looks as if we can expect the movie to hit theaters by either 2017 or 2018.
We will continue to bring you more information on Sherlock Holmes 3 as it becomes available.