Original franchise director Guy Ritchie is explaining Sherlock Holmes 3’s long-delayed development, pointing towards star Robert Downey Jr.

After a decade of development, Guy Ritchie is sharing some thoughts on Sherlock Holmes 3‘s delayed development. Ritchie helped launch the franchise based on the iconic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle detective in 2009 with the Robert Downey Jr.-led film, which scored largely positive reviews, garnering a Golden Globe win for Downey Jr.’s performance and two Oscar nominations. Grossing over $500 million, the film spawned the 2011 sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, whose $543 million gross also led to the order of a third film, which has since languished in development hell.


While speaking with Collider to discuss his new film, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, Guy Ritchie was asked about Sherlock Holmes 3‘s long-delayed development. Though noting he doesn’t have much involvement in the threequel, the original franchise director pointed toward Downey Jr.’s involvement with the films as the biggest delay, namely his oversight on every aspect of the production. See what Ritchie shared below:

Well, honestly, I left this up to Robert [Downey Jr.]. So Robert wanted to be in charge of this. 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.

Related: Robert Downey Jr.’s Post-MCU Projects Are Great For His Iron Man Return

Will Sherlock Holmes 3 Ever Get Made?

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in 2009's Sherlock Holmes.

Despite getting off to a strong start with a speedy turnaround between the first two films, Sherlock Holmes 3 has taken its time in the development process. Many of the updates shared by Downey Jr., co-star Jude Law and producers Joel Silver and Lionel Wigram have indicated the main reason behind the delay has stemmed from those behind the threequel holding out for the best script possible. Considering Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows just fell short of a “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it would make sense they want to bounce back with a better sequel.

Though never directly cited as a reason for its delay, Downey Jr.’s time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Iron Man left many wondering whether Sherlock Holmes 3 would ever happen. However, there have been a few updates over the past few years that have shown some promise for the project, namely Paramount hiring Rocketman‘s Dexter Fletcher to direct the film. Additionally, it was announced in late 2020 that Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan, would be teaming with Warner Bros. to expand the Sherlock Holmes franchise to include spinoff TV shows at HBO Max, confirming the actor’s ongoing interest in the property.

Ritchie may no longer be involved in the franchise, but his assurance that Downey Jr. is keeping a close eye on making Sherlock Holmes 3 the best it can be is sure to come as assuring for fans of the first two films. With the actor’s time in the MCU now at a close, his schedule for a blockbuster production to the level of a new Sherlock Holmes also looks to be far more open than before. However, with his work on Shane Black’s Play Dirty and an adaptation of The Sympathizer, he may still have a ways to go before making Sherlock Holmes 3 happen.

More: Robert Downey Jr’s Sherlock TV Shows Can Fix The Movies’ Biggest ProblemSource: Collider

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