Confirmation, Release Date Prediction & Everything We Know


  • Sherlock Holmes 3, the follow-up to the successful first two films, is still in development despite delays, with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law set to reprise their roles.
  • The release date for Sherlock Holmes 3 remains uncertain, with a 2021 window initially planned but likely delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The story of Sherlock Holmes 3 will continue from the ending of A Game of Shadows, hinting at Holmes’ survival and setting up a new adventure for the iconic detective duo.

Sherlock Holmes 3 is the follow up to 2011’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and the continuation of the journey of Robert Downey Jr.’s version of the titular character alongside Jude Law’s Dr. John Watson. The first two films in the period mystery thriller saga, which were both directed by Guy Ritchie, have a combined $1 billion haul at the global box office against a total production budget of just $215 million, proving that the Sherlock Holmes franchise is a profitable one for Warner Bros.

It’s been over a decade since the second movie in the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes trilogy, and despite Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes 3 being confirmed shortly after A Game of Shadows arrived, the release date for the next RDJ and Jude Law remains elusive. The third film may have been stuck in development hell for a few years now, with a slew of writers reportedly working on the movie’s stor, but is still going ahead — and the time that’s passed since means there’s much to discuss around Sherlock Holmes 3.

Most Recent Sherlock Holmes 3 News

Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Watson from Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows Superimposed on London Backdrop

The most recent Sherlock Holmes 3 news came in June 2023, and while the update wasn’t concrete it at least gives some hope that the third Sherlock Holmes movie isn’t dead in the water. Speaking to the UnWrapped podcast (via FortressOfSolitude), producer and wife of Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, revealed that a new Sherlock Holmes movie remains a priority for RDJ – ”We’re going to do it when it’s right, with the right people, but it is a priority for the company and a priority for Robert.”

While the mid-2023 update on Sherlock Holmes 3 is far from confirmation of a release date, it does reveal that Robert Downey Jr. hasnt’ walked away from the Sherlock Holmes franchise. The movie was penned for a 2021 release date at one point, suggesting Warner Bros. anticipated production to be a smooth process and that all parties involved were committed. It may have been a few years since 2021 came and went, but Susan Downey’s comments, if true, might signal Sherlock Holmes 3 picking up momentum again soon.

Sherlock Holmes 3 Is Confirmed

Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes 3 was first confirmed in 2011 shortly after the release of A Game of Shadows, but production was incredibly slow until production kickstarted again in 2018 via Collider). In July 2019, it was confirmed that Rocketman filmmaker Dexter Fletcher had been recruited to direct Sherlock Holmes 3. No official reason was given as to why Ritchie was being replaced.

Netflix’s Narcos co-creator Chris Brancato was tapped by Warner Bros. to write the script for Sherlock Holmes 3. More notable for his writing on small screen projects like Law & Order: SVU, The X-Files and Beverly Hills 90210, Brancato also provided the story for the 1997 crime period film, Hoodlum.

Sherlock Holmes 3 Release Date

Sherlock Holmes movie Watson Mary Morstan

There’s currently no confirmed release date for Sherlock Holmes 3. When director Dexter Fletcher attached to the project a 2021 release window was set. However, this never materialized, thanks most likely to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. No new release date has been announced since, and it’s unclear if momentum on developing the delayed Sherlock Holmes 3 has picked up again since.

Sherlock Holmes 3 Cast

sherlock-holmes-irene-adler-rachel-mcadams-robert-downey-jr - Edited (1)

The cast of Sherlock Holmes 3 hasn’t been officially confirmed, but the stars of the first two movies in the trilogy, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, are expected to reprise their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Watson. Robert Downey Jr. be back as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes 3. Fresh from the success of the first Iron Man that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008, the actor boarded another franchise-in-the-making by signing up to play the titular character in Guy Ritchie’s live-action movie adaptation based on the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He reprised the role in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows two years later.

Like Downey Jr., Jude Law will also be back to reprise his role as Dr. John Watson. The last time fans saw the character, he was gearing up for his long-awaited honeymoon with Mary (Kelly Reilly) after Holmes’ supposed death by the end of A Game of Shadows. Law has also talked about what fans can expect in the threequel, saying that they “hope to propel the story forward” and “the essence of the story is their codependency.” According to him, it also appears like a significant time jump will take place before the movie picks up, and another report has since suggested that the film might be set in San Francisco during the Old West.

Outside of the respective returns of Downey and Law to their leading roles, the only other announced cast member for Sherlock Holmes 3 so far is Paul Anderson, best known for his role on Netflix’s Peaky Blinders. Anderson is reprising his role of Colonel Sebastian Moran from A Game of Shadows, a close confidant to Sherlock’s mortal enemy Moriarty. It remains to be seen how Moran will figure into the story, as details on anything to do with the film’s plot remain scarce.

Sherlock Holmes 3 Story

The cast of Sherlock Holmes including Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr. and Rachel McAdams

Whatever the story of Sherlock Holmes 3 ends up being, it was clearly opened up by the ending of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. After successfully foiling Professor Moriarty’s (Jared Harris) plans to instigate a war in Europe, Holmes seemingly sacrificed himself to take out Moriarty and protect Watson and his new wife, Mary, from another of Moriarty’s schemes.

Sherlock and Moriarty fell off a balcony and into the Reichenbach falls below, and were immediately presumed dead, with Watson spearheading an emotional funeral and tribute to his fallen friend. However, just when Watson was gearing up to leave for his overdue honeymoon, he received a package containing Mycroft’s breathing device. Suspicious that Holmes may have survived the fall, he went after the delivery man to find out more.

It’s only then that it was revealed that Holmes has concealed himself in one of the lounge chairs at Watson’s office using one of his quirky suits. Peaking at Watson’s memoir, he added a question mark following the words “The End,” effectively setting up Sherlock Holmes 3.

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