Coming out of his 11-year stint as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. is now free to do pretty much whatever he wants. I mean, he could before, but being the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s leading man came with its responsibilities. Now, we are hearing rumors of a Robert Downey Jr./Johnny Depp team-up plucked straight from our dreams.
Gossip writer Daniel Richtman brings word that Robert Downey Jr. is helping Johnny Depp nab a role in Sherlock Holmes 3. This is not confirmed yet, but it does warrant some exploration. And the fact that Richtman’s…informed predictions have come true in the past definitely suggests that there may be some truth to this report.
We last saw Robert Downey Jr.’s take on Sherlock Holmes in 2011’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which pitted him against Jared Harris’s menacing Professor Moriarty. The third film has seen numerous delays, but a release date has finally been set. So at least that is settled. We still do not have a title for the forthcoming blockbuster, which is odd considering the fact that it is currently scheduled to hit theaters later this year.
Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp together in a big franchise movie would certainly be exciting, especially if that movie was the belated third Sherlock Holmes flick. But Depp has had some significant legal troubles for months now, ones that have seen him fired from Fantastic Beasts 3-and replaced with Mads Mikkelsen- and all but shunned by Hollywood. Even now, his messy falling out with his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, continues to make headlines, even though their divorce was finalized years ago.
Late last year, Johnny Depp lost an important libel suit. He had challenged a publication that referred to him as a “wife-beater,” but that did not work in his favor. It is unclear how Robert Downey Jr. sees Depp fitting into the Sherlock franchise, but hopefully, if he does end up appearing in it, it is done in a way that makes sense narratively.
The allegations leveled against Johnny Depp are incredibly serious, and it is unlikely that even Robert Downey Jr. can redeem him at this point. But honestly, that begs the question: Should he even be redeemed? Should Hollywood take him back? I suppose that is up to you to decide. But remember that there are sides and dimensions to this that those of us on the outside do not know.
Personally, I am skeptical about this report regarding Robert Downey Jr. There is no doubt that Richtman has been spot-on in the past, but this seems to push believability a little too far. Is it impossible? Of course not, but Depp has already been fired from a major blockbuster franchise, one that is made by the same studio as Sherlock Holmes. It is very unlikely that Warner Bros. will want Depp back, but who knows?
You can witness Robert Downey Jr.’s highly anticipated return as Sherlock Holmes-as well as Johnny Depp’s potential return to blockbusters (?)- when Sherlock Holmes 3 hits theaters on December 21, 2021.