Robert Downey Jr. is doing some early prep work in order to get back into character for Sherlock Holmes 3. It's been seven years since we last saw RDJ as the legendary detective in 2011's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. He's been quite busy being the anchor of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Tony Stark/Iron Man and squeezing in something else here and there when he can. Now though, his calendar is looking a little more clear and Sherlock Holmes 3 is finally happening and the actor has teased that he's getting his game face on.

As far as these things go, Robert Downey Jr. isn't the most active guy on social media. But when he does decide to post something, he makes an impression. In this case, he posted a gif from his previous adventures as Sherlock Holmes and teased fans, saying that he's practicing for his forthcoming return to the role. Here's what he had to say.

"Practicing my Sherlock face."

With Avengers 4 pretty much squared away, at least as far as filming is concerned, Robert Downey Jr.'s commitments to the MCU are presumably over with, as it's largely expected that he will hang up his armor after next summer's Infinity War follow-up. That will finally give him more time for some new, big projects, one of which being Sherlock Holmes 3. This tweet is no doubt alluding to the fact that production on the third movie in the series could be getting underway in the relatively near future. No production timetable has officially been revealed, but it's pretty much inevitable at this point.

RELATED: Sherlock Holmes 3 Gets Delayed Until 2021

Warner Bros. gave Sherlock Holmes 3 a Christmas Day 2020 release date back in May. That put the movie back on everyone's radar and made it clear that the studio was finally serious about getting this thing into production. With that release date in mind, it's quite possible that the movie could begin filming in early to mid 2019. Guy Ritchie directed the first two installments and it hasn't yet been revealed if he will be returning to helm the new movie. If the plan is to have him return, production will have to wait until his commitments on Disney's Aladdin are over with, which won't be until May of next year.

Sherlock Holmes was released in 2009 and went on to find great success at the box office, earning $524 million worldwide. The sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, did even better, taking in $545 million, despite being received less well critically. Given that both of those movies did make so much money, it's surprising it took this long to get Sherlock Holmes 3 off the ground. This is definitely a case of better late than never. We'll be sure to keep you up to date as more details on the project are made available. You can check out the post from Robert Downey Jr.'s Twitter account for yourself below.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott