Sherlock Holmes 3: Everything you need to know

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Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Sherlock Holmes 3 was originally set to be out in December 2021, but December is here and as you can see, there is no Sherlock Holmes 3 on the calendar.

It won't be a surprise to learn that it's the ongoing global situation that affected production on the threequel, much like every other movie and TV show has been impacted over the past year or so, but unlike others, Sherlock Holmes 3 hasn't managed to make its way back onto the release schedule.

"We started going and then Covid hit, and they were like, 'Look we're going to stand it down and Robert has got something else he wants to do'," explained Dexter Fletcher in June 2021.

"These things are so big that you don't wanna just chisel them into something... I know that Robert will not let that fish off the hook."

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Fletcher took over from Guy Ritchie as the director of Sherlock Holmes 3 in July 2019, and at least the latest update sounds promising in the sense that we will eventually get to see the return of Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law and Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.

Fletcher worked with Ritchie as an actor on films such as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and has highlighted the franchise’s former filmmaker’s support (via DenOfGeek), saying Ritchie has been "very generous about it."

"We’re different filmmakers and I’m not going to ignore what he did so brilliantly before. I mean there will be an element of that, but I will also bring my own voice to it as well and it will be something sort of different," Fletcher said.

"He’s like, 'You’re going to have a great time. Go and have a great time'. It’ll be exciting. Rob is fantastic, Jude is amazing. There’s an incredible cast there and a great opportunity. [Ritchie]’s not around to do it, and he’s off doing what he’s doing. It feels good to be part of that. Guy and I go way back, and he’s very generous. I think he finds it rather fun that it’s me."

How much fun the actual movie will be remains to be seen, but in the meantime, here's everything you need to know about Sherlock Holmes 3.

Sherlock Holmes 3 potential release date: When will Sherlock Holmes 3 be out in cinemas?

Warner Bros originally set a December 25, 2020 release date for the third movie, before pushing it back an entire year to December 22, 2021.

That release date wasn't met and currently Sherlock Holmes 3 doesn't have a confirmed release date. In October 2020, Fletcher explained that the movie was on "the back burner" with them waiting to see "what's going to happen" in the world.

"How do you get large groups of people together to create something and then shift them all around the world? And what do you do with actors that are in a love scene? It's complicated," he added.

Sherlock Holmes 3 cast: Who is returning for Sherlock Holmes 3?

Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law have both been confirmed to return as Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson in the third movie, obviously, since it wouldn't be the same without their bromance.

No word yet on whether Kelly Reilly (Watson's wife Mary), Stephen Fry (Sherlock's brother Mycroft) or Eddie Marsan (Inspector Lestrade) will return, but we'd be surprised if they didn't at least make a cameo appearance.

Professor James Moriarty, played brilliantly by Jared Harris, was seemingly killed off at the end of A Game of Shadows, but we wouldn't bet against a return.

Sherlock Holmes 3 plot: What will Sherlock Holmes 3 be about?

"We want it to be the best of the series, so that's a pretty tall order," Downey has said of the third movie. So who out of Sherlock's back catalogue of villains will the master detective be up against this time?

The first outing saw Holmes and Watson battling mystical would-be world dominator Lord Henry Blackwood (Mark Strong), while the second film brought us Sherlock's arch-nemesis Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris).

Photo credit: Silver Pictures/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
Photo credit: Silver Pictures/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

As mentioned above, Harris would seem like a longshot to return. However, Holmes himself was supposed to have died in that same incident, only for the detective to fake his death and secretly turn up in Watson's office.

Our money would be on a return for Moriarty, with Harris hopefully reprising the role. Holmes without Moriarty is like Batman without the Joker – the two need each other to be truly amazing.

Harris doesn't seem that confident on a return though, telling Digital Spy in March 2018 that the last script he saw didn't have Moriarty in it. Whether this will have changed by the time we finally get to filming remains to be seen.

One thing we do know for sure though is that it's set quite some time after A Game of Shadows — which makes sense, given how much time has passed in real life.

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

"We hope to propel the story forward. As always, the essence of the story is their codependency," Law teased.

"We're going to examine – since it's been several years since we've seen them – we're going to play up the fact that they haven't seen each other for a long time either."

And it sounds like the story's also going to have to set up a new universe for the characters, one that could expand into spin-offs and streaming sequels.

"We do think there's opportunity to build it out more, to spin off some characters from the third movie, to see what's going on in the television landscape, to see how Warner Media is starting to build things out with HBO and HBO Max," Susan Downey said (via SlashFilm).

"We definitely have kind of grand schemes and plans and all that, but it takes a lot. It takes a lot of coordination because again, Marvel wasn't built in a day. It took several wins and things that worked very well to then be able to connect them, to then be able to branch out."

"At this point, we really feel there's not a mystery-verse built out anywhere," Downey Jr. added. "Conan Doyle is the definitive voice in that arena to this day, so to me, why do a third movie if you're not going to be able to spin off into some real gems of diversity, and other times and elements? We're not repeaters, we don't want to just try to do what's been done somewhere else. But I think the model itself has become much more dimensionalised than it was before."

Sherlock Holmes 3 trailer: Any Sherlock Holmes 3 footage yet?

We'll have to wait until the movie is actually filming to have any idea when we can see new footage, but it's probably safe to say we can't expect anything anytime soon.

For now, you'll have to rewatch the previous two movies (or any of the plethora of Sherlock Holmes adaptations out there).

Sherlock Holmes 3 does not currently have a release date.

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