Fresh off his recent Marvel blockbusters, East Hampton resident Robert Downey Jr. will soon return to another of his fan-favorite roles. Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures has confirmed that the megastar will play British detective Sherlock Holmes in a third installment of the film series.
According to Digital Spy, Sherlock Holmes 3 has been set for a December 25, 2020 release—which makes sense since both of the previous films opened around Christmas: Sherlock Holmes on December 25, 2009 and A Game of Shadows on December 16, 2011. Also sticking to tradition, Jude Law will return to costar as John Watson and Guy Ritchie will once again direct.
So far, it hasn’t been confirmed whether Kelly Reilly will be back to play Watson’s wife Mary or Stephen Fry is returning as Holmes’ brilliant brother Mycroft. The studio has also not confirmed whether Eddie Marsan, as Inspector Lestrade, or Jared Harris, as Moriarty, will appear in the new sequel.
Talk has been brewing about Sherlock Holmes 3 since shortly after the release of A Game of Shadows, and the screenwriting process has evolved over the last seven years. A screenplay was commissioned in 2011, but Digital Spy explains that the effort was later changed to a writers room style endeavor, the way most television shows are now written.
Downey is currently filming The Voyage of Dr Dolittle, based on the Hugh Lofting book series, starting in 1920, about a British doctor who uses his skill for speak with animals in their own language to care for them. The Iron Man actor is playing the titular role, also played by Eddie Murphy in a 1998 adaptation that presented a more modern take on Lofting’s stories.
The Voyage of Dr Dolittle is slated for an April, 2019 release. Downey will be quite busy with press next spring, considering his Avengers: Infinity War followup, Avengers 4 (no title has been revealed), opens the following month…if he appears in it, that is.