Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes 2 - IMDB
Let's celebrate! Source: IMDB

Seven years since the blockbuster Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, a third Sherlock Holmes film has finally been announced.

It was the trilogy that never was – Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes series came to a sudden end in 2011, following the release of the second film. The film clearly paved the way for a third but fans were left waiting when no sequel arrived.

What happened to the third film? Why are we hearing about it now? What do we know about it? Here’s everything you need to know about Sherlock Holmes 3.

When Will We See It?

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes
The face you make when you’ve been waiting 7 years for a film. Source: IMDB

It has been announced that Sherlock Holmes 3 will be released on (drum roll please)… December 25, 2020. I know, that is a really long wait, but hey, you’ve made it this far!

Not much is known about the third film, as yet. We know nothing about the plot, but production will begin this year so we should have details in 2019.

For those wondering why there was such a delay to begin with, there is a reasonable explanation – star Robert Downey Jr.’s Marvel film commitments.

Downey Jr.’s extensive involvement in the MCU has severely curtailed his ability to appear in anything else over the last decade. When he initially signed on to Sherlock Holmes, which released in 2009, a year after the first Iron Man, it was believed that he would complete his solo Iron Man trilogy and the Avengers trilogy and thus, still be able to commit to three Sherlock films.

But, Downey Jr. then joined Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming and that put paid to any plans for a third Sherlock film.

Downey Jr. is now done with his Marvel commitments – Avengers: Infinity War is in theatres now and the untitled fourth Avengers film was shot concurrently with Infinity War – so basically, he’s completed his Iron Man arc and can return to exploring his other iconic character.

Are There Any Changes Behind the Scenes?

guy ritchie director
Guy Ritchie on the set of the first Sherlock Holmes film. Source: IMDB

Producers from the first two films – Susan Downey, Joel Silver and Lionel Wigram – are attached to the production but there is no word yet on director Guy Ritchie or composer Hans Zimmer.

One hopes that Ritchie will return. His stylisation for the films was not only effective but gave them a unique aesthetic that distinguished them from the endless Holmes films and TV series that had preceded it.

Ritchie has been steady with his output, releasing a film every two years, but his last two outings weren’t met with much praise. 2015’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E was a crowd-pleaser but did nothing for critics and hopes for a sequel to that film were soon dashed. His King Arthur: Legend of the Sword applied some of the same Sherlock Holmes aesthetic and was far more enjoyable than it had any right to be but again, critics didn’t favour it much.

With this record, Ritchie would do well to return to this series which, although not a critical darling, was certainly a box office success.

Return of the Bromance

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law
The bromance made the series. Source: IMDB

It looks like Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are definitely confirmed for this film. Which is great because they are brilliant together!

When the first Sherlock Holmes was announced, some wondered how the odd pairing of Downey Jr. and Law would work onscreen. Very well, it turns out.

Their on-screen bromance and off-screen camaraderie (check them out on The Graham Norton show below and tell me I’m wrong) was a joy to watch and gave both Sherlock and Watson a great deal of depth. The second film even makes a plot point of Sherlock’s attachment issues following Watson’s wedding. Needless to say, I cannot wait to see these two together again onscreen!

No word yet on any other cast members though Jared Harris, who portrayed Moriarty in Game of Shadows, has said there were never any plans for his character to return. Rachel McAdams, who played Irene Adler in the first two films, is rumoured to reprise her role, though considering Adler was killed in the second film, one isn’t sure how this will be accomplished.

One can assume we will see more of Stephen Fry’s Mycroft Holmes and Kelly Reilly’s Mary Watson but there is no confirmation of this yet either.

It has been a very long wait for fans of this particular iteration of the iconic detective. Fortunately, it seems their patience will finally be rewarded. Here’s hoping we get a great end to this series.

A writer at heart with a fondness for well-told stories, Louis Skye is always looking for a way to escape the planet, whether through comic books, films, television, books or video games. She always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media.