sherlock holmes is Robert Downey Jr.’s second most successful franchise, and it has seen two major films released over a decade ago. After the second payment, A game of shadows, there was talk of a third film, which ultimately never happened and left fans wondering about the future of the character played by Downey. As the actor ends his run in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and recently announced his involvement in a television series based on the famous detective’s universe, it would be a good time to finally shine a light on this third chapter.
It’s been 11 years since the release of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. The film is the 2009 sequel sherlock holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. as the brilliant detective and Jude Law as his sidekick, Dr. John Watson. Both films were directed by Guy Ritchie, with a contemporary take that resembles most of the director’s other work, namely the use of detailed, extremely slow-paced fight scenes. Downey and Law created a great chemistry between them, which carried through most scenes in the films. Plus, it proved that both films could become a franchise, especially after the first. sherlock holmes grossed $524 million worldwide, a number later surpassed by the sequel’s $543 million.
It also solidified Downey as a bankable star in a role that wasn’t Tony Stark/Iron Man, proving he could easily hold a sherlock holmes film franchise on his shoulders. Iron Man has undoubtedly been his signature role, but he’s also consumed most of his career since 2008. He was the mainstay that held up most of the MCU through its first three phases, leaving little time for the actor to make cameo appearances in other major films despite performing well in films like Thunder in the tropics and The Soloist. With Tony Stark out of the way, he can now focus on other projects and franchises.
After A game of shadows, there was talk of a third film but without Ritchie at the controls. It wouldn’t be the first time a trilogy hasn’t been completed by the same director, though Ritchie’s style is quite unique. However, director Dexter Fletcher came on board and the project was set to begin filming until it hit a major delay in 2019 and remains numb until now. It was recently announced that HBO Max was developing a few series based on the famous detective produced by Downey and his wife Susan Downey under the couple’s production company, Team Downey.
The actor expressed a desire to create a sherlock holmes cinematic universe, similar to that of the MCU, claiming that the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are excellent for a mystery verse, the likes of which do not yet exist. He bluntly said, “Why do a third movie if you’re not going to be able to turn yourselves into real gems of diversity and other times and elements?” This could mean that Warner Brothers and HBO Max, the studio’s backed television partner, could team up to create something completely new and innovative. Not only could audiences finally expect the third installment, but it would come with two series.
Given the success of the film version of sherlock holmes, standing on Downey’s shoulders, the third movie with the series could easily be his next big parallel role to Tony Stark/Iron Man. The actor should appear next in Christopher Nolan Oppenheimerwhich is currently in production.
Robert Downey Jr. is developing the Sherlock Holmes TV universe for HBO Max
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