With the future of ‘Sherlock Holmes 3’ descending further in the dark every day, Robert Downey Jr. plans a Sherlock Universe for HBO Max – but without Sherlock?
The first movie in the ‘Sherlock Holmes franchise, starring Robert Downey Jr., was released in December 2009. Following the box-office success and critical acclaim of the first movie, the second movie ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’, was released in December 2011. However, even after almost a decade of the sequel, we haven’t seen the third movie in the franchise. While the third movie of Sherlock Holmes is slated to release in December 2021, the fact that the filming is yet to start, and the confirmation from the director Dexter Fletcher, reveals that the movie is shelved for now. In such a scenario, the latest reports hint at a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ universe consisting of character spin-offs, linked stories, etc. being developed by Robert Downey Jr. for HBO Max.
However, there might not be a Sherlock in the ‘Sherlock Holmes universe, or at least RDJ’s version of Sherlock.
- Robert Downey Jr. developing a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ universe for HBO Max
- “We’ve grand schemes and plans”, Susan Downey hints at the Sherlock universe
- Sherlock or RDJ might not lead the “Mystery Verse”
A “Mystery-verse” of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ in development by RDJ for HBO Max.
Robert Downey Jr. developing a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ universe for HBO Max
Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the most adapted literary character in the history of cinema and television. Yet the buzz around the legendary character denies dying anytime soon. Within these two decades, we have already had over 9 TV adaptations of Sherlock’s stories in English Television, including the Benedict Cumberbatch starring BBC adaptation ‘Sherlock’ with season 5 in filming. Then there are two Russian adaptations, over 5 Japanese TV adaptations, and so on.
Recently, Netflix rocked the experimental adaptation around Sherlock stories with ‘Enola Holmes’, starring Millie Bobby Brown. Netflix already has two other Sherlock adaptations in the pipeline, ‘The Irregulars‘, and ‘Sherlock Junior‘.
However, one of the most popular and mainstream Sherlock adaptations have been the Warner Bros. Pictures’ adaptation starring RDJ, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, and others. This not-so-intense take on Sherlock stories, with signature RDJ style, Hans Zimmer music, great cinematography, and the superhero-like abilities attributed to Sherlock got tremendous response from the audience worldwide.
“That’s sort of sitting on the back burner at the moment until it becomes clear where the world is at and what’s going to happen.” He further added: “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.” This brings us to what might be cooking, a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ universe for HBO Max, as hinted by Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey during an interview a few weeks ago.
“We’ve grand schemes and plans”, Susan Downey hints at the Sherlock universe
While the 3rd installment in the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ franchise is being delayed, Robert Downey Jr. and his wife and producing partner Susan have been working on plans to create a Sherlock universe for HBO max. On a panel at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival this October, Susan revealed their plans to create a “mystery verse” of Sherlock Holmes stories following the third movie.
“Doing a one-off third movie, we could do. But 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. 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.”
This could have been a said and forgotten thing. However, as reported by “We Got This Covered”, insider Daniel Richtman has recently claimed and confirmed that Robert Downey Jr. and Susan are working on the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ universe for HBO Max.
Sherlock or RDJ might not lead the “Mystery Verse”
While the HBO Max Sherlock verse is possibly in the making, Robert Downey Jr. might not star in it as Sherlock Holmes. Or, if he plays Sherlock Holmes, then probably the character won’t be the leading force of the Mystery Verse.
As on the same panel, while adding to Susan’s revelation, RDJ said: “We’re not repeaters. We don’t want to just try to do what’s been done somewhere else.” It’s possible that while the “Mystery Verse” is being built around Sherlock, it might have different shows and movies focusing on the story line of different characters.
The ‘Iron Man’ actor also said:
“At this point, we really feel there’s not a mystery-verse built out anywhere. And 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?”
While we wait for ‘Sherlock Holmes 3’ to hit the theaters, let’s also wish that the “Mystery Verse” being developed by Robert Downey Jr. also gets into action. How excited are you for this “Mystery Verse”? Do you really feel there is enough potential in ‘Sherlock Holmes’ stories?