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Sherlock Holmes 3 Happening Is Up to Robert Downey Jr., Guy Ritchie Says

Director Guy Ritchie says he’s left it up to RDJ to decide if the third Sherlock Holmes movie is ever going to happen.

There have been rumors for years about a third Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr. happening, but the movie just can’t seem to make its way out of development hell. Directed by Guy Ritchie and released in 2009, the the first Sherlock Holmes feature film adaptation in this particular series starred RDJ as the titular detective alongside Jude Law as Dr. Watson. Ritchie would later direct the 2011 sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which brought back Downey and Law to reprise their roles. Sequel talks go back over the past decade, but Sherlock Holmes 3 has been stalling nonstop ever since with a future for the franchise that’s still not entirely certain.


The reason that the movies haven’t been given a threequel hasn’t been due to a lack of trying, as Ritchie provided an update on Sherlock Holmes 3 in a new interview with Collider. Ritchie essentially says that he’s done all he can at this point to make the movie happen, getting to where he’s “moonwalked” away from it knowing that it’s out of his hands. The director says that it’s actually up to Downey to figure that out, as Ritchie doesn’t want to deal with the project any longer until it gets to where he’s actually needed to start work on the film.

“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.”

Related: Sherlock Holmes: Here’s Why the Hound of the Baskervilles Has Been Adapted So Many Times

What’s Happening with Sherlock Holmes 3?

Sherlock Holmes
Columbia TriStar

Last year, Downey said he was indeed planning to further build out his Sherlock Holmes franchise. It was reported that he was producing multiple Sherlock Holmes spinoffs for HBO Max, though it wasn’t clear if he also plans to act in them with potential appearances as the detective. But spinoffs aren’t the same as Sherlock Holmes 3, though director Dexter Fletcher, who was previously announced to helm the threequel, would later tell Collider that he believes the movie will be made at some point, despite the pandemic pausing those plans indefinitely.

“I do think it will get made,” he said. “I think it has to be made. I don’t know what the timeline of that is, unfortunately, but I believe it should be. It’s fantastic. I think it’s about all the right people being at the right place, at the right time. I think it’s that. It’s one of those cruel twists of fate, where the pandemic hit and that scattered people around the world to the wind. But I know that the appetite is huge for it, and I’m sure there are other people acutely aware of that as well. But I believe it should be because it’s brilliant. I very much hope so.”

Time will tell what happens next with the Sherlock Holmes franchise, and if those planned spinoffs at HBO Max also end up falling into development hell to join Sherlock Holmes 3.

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