Sherlock Holmes 3 Is Only Waiting On One Thing, Director Says

Guy Ritchie claims that the only thing holding up Sherlock Holmes 3 is the leading man, Robert Downey Jr., as soon as he's on board, the production will fall into place.

By TeeJay Small | Published

Veteran filmmaker Guy Ritchie recently sat down with Collider to discuss his work on upcoming films such as the Henry Cavill-led The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Welfare and Disney’s Aladdin 2. Ritchie is perhaps best known for his work on the 2009 and 2011 live-action Sherlock Holmes films, which starred Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Sherlock and Watson, inevitably leading the conversation to questions regarding the possibility of a third installment. Guy Ritchie stated that Sherlock Holmes 3 could happen if Robert Downey Jr. takes the reins, stating, “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.”

Fans have long been clamoring for a return to the iconic role from the Tony Stark actor, as the highly stylized Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows each brought a new and special take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic characters. While it seems clear that Robert Downey Jr.’s obligations to Marvel may have put his other acting efforts on hiatus, it appears as though Sherlock Holmes 3 could be right around the corner. After taking a brief hiatus from acting following the death of the iconic Marvel hero Iron Man in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, Downey Jr. is returning to the big screen this summer with the arrival of Christopher Nolan‘s Oppenheimer.

Oppenheimer is set to be a harrowing biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, who led the United States military in developing the atomic bomb in 1945. The film is set to be one of the most star-studded films in recent history, featuring performances from Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Dane DeHaan, Rami Malek, Josh Hartnett, Emily Blunt, Jack Quaid, Florence Pugh, and dozens of others alongside Robert Downey Jr. The film promises to be an enormous hit, which could propel other projects, such as Sherlock Holmes 3, into the public consciousness, allowing the film a fast path toward production.

Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes

Plans for a Guy Ritchie-helmed Sherlock Holmes 3 were announced by Warner Bros. shortly after A Game Of Shadows premiered in 2011, only for the project to be ultimately scrapped after years of development delays. The studio had been trying to move the needle on the conclusion to the trilogy for years, even opting to replace Ritchie with Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Dexter Fletcher in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately left the project on indefinite hiatus. Luckily, these new comments from Guy Ritchie suggest that he’d sign back onto the project if Robert Downey Jr. agrees to get involved.

As for whether or not Robert Downey Jr. is interested in revisiting the role is unclear, as it’s been over a decade since the last installment hit theaters. However, films such as 2016’s Logan have shown that fans would be more than happy to see mature, aged versions of their favorite iconic characters on the big screen, potentially making an older Sherlock Holmes the subject of film number three. Only time will tell what the future holds for the Sherlock Holmes franchise, but fans will remain on high alert for signs of movement in the production.