After three feature films, Robert Downey Jr.‘s Sherlock Holmes universe will be further expanded on the small screen. Per Variety, development has begun on two separate spinoff shows set in RDJ’s Sherlock Holmes universe. Per the report, each of the two shows is planned to focus on new characters introduced in Sherlock Holmes 3. It remains unclear exactly which characters these might be and if Downey would be making any special appearances as Sherlock.
Downey is also reportedly executive producing the spinoffs alongside Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell of Team Downey. Lionel Wigram of Wigram Productions will also executive produce. Warner Bros. Television is producing.
This news comes as HBO Max has been ordering new shows to further flesh out some of the movies released by Warner Bros. in recent years. This includes the recently-announced It prequel series Welcome to Derry, which is said to be an origin story for Pennywise the Clown. At least two spinoffs of The Batman are also in development for the streamer, with one set in Arkham Asylum and another following Colin Farrell as the Penguin. A Dune spinoff series is also in the works.
Sherlock Holmes was released in 2009, with its sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, following in 2011. The movies, starring RDJ as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson, were based on the original detective novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. With the original film grossing over $524 million worldwide, with the sequel garnering another $543 million, the films have drawn well over $1 billion at the global box office.
Robert Downey Jr. Has Been Teasing More Sherlock Holmes for Years
This news may also mean that the long-gestating Sherlock Holmes 3 is back on track. Given that the previous films were big hits at the box office, it was natural for there to be sequel talks ever since, but although SH3 was given a 2021 release date at one point that never came to be, the project just hasn’t been able to really get its gears turning. In any case, Robert Downey Jr. has teased more Sherlock Holmes in the past, including comments made in 2020 that suggested he wanted to develop some spinoffs in addition to developing the next film.
“At this point, we really feel that there is not a mystery-verse built out anywhere, and Conan Doyle is the definitive voice in that arena, I think, to this day. So to me, why do [Sherlock Holmes 3] if you’re not going to be able to spin off into some real gems of diversity and other times and elements?” Downey said, per Fast Company.
Producer Susan Downey added, “We think there’s an opportunity to build it out more. Spinoff characters from a third movie, to see what’s going on in the television landscape, to see what Warner Media is starting to build out, things with HBO and HBO Max.”
At this time, HBO Max has not officially confirmed the reports of the Sherlock Holmes spinoffs, nor has there been an official announcement on Sherlock Holmes 3. With these reports coming to light, perhaps we will hear an announcement soon.
Robert Downey Jr. Wants to Spin Sherlock Holmes 3 Into a New Cinematic Universe
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