While the Benedict Cumberbatch-led Sherlock on television enjoys a ‘top of the mind’ recall if you were to speak out the name of the famous detective, the movie series with Robert Downey, Jr. didn’t do too badly either. The Guy Ritchie directed movie first released in 2009 with Robert Downey, Jr. (who had found instant fame a year back with Iron Man) playing Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson, both shredding the conventional portrayals of these famous characters to make it all the more thrilling to watch them. The movie was a blockbuster, grossing $524 million worldwide as against a production budget of only $90 million. The sequel followed two years later called Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows with the same director and set of actors. It was another success, marginally outgrossing the original with box-office collections of $545 million though the production budget was higher at $125 million. A third part to this series made financial sense, but for some reason, the film-makers have gone slow and there was not much that we got to hear about it. Until now.
Warner Bros. has recruited the services of screenwriter James Coyne to rewrite the script for Sherlock Holmes 3 as reported by Deadline. The studio had initially appointed Iron Man 3 and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation co-writer Drew Pearce to work on the script. This was way back in 2011. The movie then was kept on the back-burner, and only now are things getting hot again. James Coyne’s past works as a writer aren’t anything to boast of; the names of Vikingdom (2013) and Puncture Wounds (2014) would have not been heard of even in passing by most of us. But more recently, James Coyne put together a fresh script draft for Treasure Island, the re-telling of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, a project which has had Guy Ritchie linked as the director. Coyne gets a big chance here to work with something as popular as a Sherlock Holmes movie and hopefully he will make it count.
Robert Downey, Jr., during a recent promotion of Captain America: Civil War, touched upon Sherlock Holmes 3 and the fact that he’s working along with Guy Ritchie and Jude Law to begin filming in 2016 itself. That is indeed fantastic news for not only it shows the commitment of the trio to complete their trilogy but also opens the possibility of a late 2017 release for the movie. Downey, Jr. has been pretty much tied-down by Marvel to play Iron Man, which he has done four times (counting the recent Civil War) since Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Marvel really made it almost next to impossible for Robert Downey, Jr. to find time for Sherlock Holmes 3! Beyond that, he played the lead role in The Judge which was his own production too, and a cameo in the indie movie The Chef.
Jude Law too has been a busy man over the last five years, averaging more than a movie a year in this period. He starred alongside Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina, played the lead role in Dom Hemingway, had a chunky role as part of an ensemble cast in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and starred in a supporting role in the Melissa McCarthy comedy movie Spy. Jude Law has also explored with television shows, featuring in The Young Pope. In this year you will see him play the writer Thomas Wolfe in Genius, and his next appearance will be in a Guy Ritchie movie, Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur.
Guy Ritchie on his part did a minor disappearing act after Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. We heard a lot of projects being linked up with him but there was no clarity on which one would he be shooting and when. Finally, the remake of an old TV show, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. started rolling and released in 2015, four years after the Sherlock Holmes sequel. The movie had a Guy Ritchie feel, but people didn’t warm up easily to it and for some reason it failed at the box-office. The Guy Ritchie stock has by no means come down though, and his upcoming movie – Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur with Charlie Hunnam in the lead role – is already in post-production work with a March 2017 planned release.
So there it is. The trio may have been occupied in various projects till now but they look committed to begin working on Sherlock Holmes 3. If we can get a terrific script as we have had in this series so far, then what an amazing mystery we will be plunging in again!