Sherlock Holmes 3 is finally happening. This is a movie that has had plenty of false starts and a lot of maybe, maybe not sort of stuff over the years, but it looks like we're finally going to see Robert Downey Jr. back as the legendary detective, with Jude Law at his side as Watson. Warner Bros. has officially locked down a Christmas Day 2020 release date for the movie, which gives them plenty of time to get everything squared away.
When last we heard, in terms of development, a writer's room was assembled in late 2016 to work on Sherlock Holmes 3. However, the script for the current version of the movie comes solely from Chris Brancato. He is primarily a TV writer, but has credits on prestigious shows such as Hannibal and Narcos. Currently, there are no story details or any sort of synopsis available for the new Sherlock Holmes movie, but those details will probably start coming our way over the next few months.
Last time we saw Robert Downey Jr. as the character was in 2011's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. The first Sherlock Holmes was released in 2009. Both movies were very commercially successful, making more than $1 billion combined at the worldwide box office. But there was also a very short gap between sequels. By the time Sherlock Holmes 3 actually arrives in theaters on December 25, 2020, it will have been nine years since the last installment. Will that be too long? Or will the love people have for Robert Downey Jr. and his version of the character overcome that and help this movie become a success?
Another thing to consider is that this movie will be facing down some rather stiff competition at the box office upon its release. James Cameron's Avatar 2, which is another movie that people will have been waiting a very long time to see by the time it finally arrives, is currently scheduled to hit theaters on December 18, 2020. That means Sherlock Holmes 3 will be coming out just a week later and, since Avatar is still the highest-grossing movie ever made, that's about as big as competition gets. Going up against Holmes and Watson directly will be Illumination's Sing 2, which also comes out on Christmas day.
There's also the matter of director Guy Ritchie. He directed the first two movies and has been in the conversation in the years that have followed when it comes to doing the third. However, at least as of right now, he's not currently attached to direct. Could that have something to do with the fact that King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which was also made for Warner Bros., was one of the biggest bombs of 2017? The movie made just $145 million worldwide and reportedly had a production budget of $175 million. And that's before marketing costs. That's purely speculative, but it doesn't seem at all unlikely that a new director will take over for Sherlock Holmes 3. Whatever the case may be in that regard, the movie is finally happening.