If you’d forgotten that Robert Downey Jr. was part of another big, box office franchise outside of Marvel, you’re forgiven. That’s to be expected considering how long and with how much acclaim the actor handled the Tony Stark / Iron Man character all of these years. He was part of one of, if not the, biggest franchise of all time so his other work has gone some by the wayside. But now, according to Movie Web, there’s speculation around the actor returning to Sherlock Holmes 3 and getting that franchise started again. If there’s no more Tony Stark then maybe after more than a decade he can start sleuthing as Sherlock again.
Movie Web was reporting this about Robert Downey Jr. after the actor posted a video on Instagram of him training in a mixed martial arts gym. This raised some speculation that this kind of training would be right in line with what he’d been bringing in the first two Sherlock Holmes movies. That franchise featured a heavier fighting element than we’d seen from the character before so this training could fall in line with preparation for a new film. Check out the video.
Like I said, if you’d forgotten about this Sherlock Holmes franchise, you are off the hook. The two movies were released in the 2-3 years following Robert Downey Jr. getting Iron Man off the ground and sparking the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But taking on this iconic character was a success in its own right. The first film, Sherlock Holmes, which had Jude Law as Watson, scored more than $500 million at the box office on *only* a $90 million budget. The follow-up, A Game of Shadows, took in $545 million as well, banking more than a billion dollars for the franchise.
But that was the last we saw of the character for Robert Downey Jr. with the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicking into massively high gear. Just following Game of Shadows, there was talk of a third movie in the franchise. But over the next decade or so, the film went through every manner of pre-development “hell” so to speak with numerous folks rumored as director and writer along the way. Back in 2019, there was more solid word from Warner Bros that the flick was on, but even that went by the wayside and the movie has been delayed again.
The most recent news that we might be getting this Robert Downey Jr. sequel off the ground was from insider Daniel Richtman that the studio was working to cast the villain for the next film. If they are trying to get folks on board it likely means that Chris Brancato’s script is done and that director Dexter Fletcher is on board. But where we are in the process isn’t totally clear.
After the flopping of Dolittle, it’s a little unclear what the future holds for Robert Downey Jr. It’s not a bad thing coming off a run as one of the movie industry’s most iconic characters ever. It would be great to see the next thing a return to another awesome, iconic character.