The wait for Sherlock Holmes 3 likely just got even longer. It has been an off-and-on process trying to get Robert Downey Jr. back for one more go-around as the famed detective. Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher boarded the project last summer, which seemingly gave it new life. Unfortunately, 2020 had other plans. Now, the filmmaker has confirmed that the sequel is on the backburner for the time being.

Dexter Fletcher was recently a guest on the Celebrity Catch Up podcast. During the conversation, talk inevitably turned to Sherlock Holmes 3, which is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters in time for Christmas 2021. But Fletcher revealed that a delay seems likely at this point as the uncertainty surrounding the movie business has created some issues for the long-awaited project. Here's what he had to say about it.

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"Sherlock's hit its own issues on and off. 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."

As we've seen, getting new productions, be it movies or TV shows, off the ground right now can be incredibly challenging. Studios have to take on a host of health and safety protocols to minimize risk, and even then risk can't go down to zero right now. Plus, these protocols add to a project's budget.

Not to mention the ongoing uncertainty surrounding movie theaters, which complicates matters for any movie that is hoping to rake in big money at the box office. With that, it is not surprising to learn that Warner Bros. is taking a wait-and-see approach here. Speaking further, Dexter Fletcher said that this movie, as well as his reboot of The Saint, are facing the same challenges.

"They're both up against the same dilemma, the same issue that we all [have]: 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."

Directed by Guy Ritchie, Sherlock Holmes was released in 2009, with Robert Downey Jr. playing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved literary creation. Jude Law was on board as Watson. It proved to be a huge hit, earning $498 million at the global box office. The sequel, 2011's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, earned $535 million. Plans for a third entry have been in the works on some level ever since.

It was recently revealed that Robert Downey Jr. has ambitious plans, hoping to launch an entire Sherlock Holmes cinematic universe. Presumably, the upcoming sequel would be used as a potential springboard for any other future projects. At present, Sherlock Holmes 3 is set to hit theaters on December 22, 2021. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. To hear the full interview with Dexter Fletcher, you can check out the latest episode of Celebrity Catch Up.