Sherlock Holmes 3's Guy Ritchie Reveals Why He's Currently Not As 'Involved' With The Threequel

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in 2009's Sherlock Holmes
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

In the early years of Robert Downey Jr.’s tenure as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the actor was also bringing another fictional character from the printed page to life: Sherlock Holmes. Downey’s debuted as the Arthur Conan Doyle-created detective in 2009, and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows followed in 2011. Then there’s Sherlock Holmes 3, which has remained stuck in development hell for well over a decade, with no sign lately of it making any progress forward. Now Guy Ritchie, who directed Downey's first two Sherlock Holmes movies, has shared why he’s not as “involved” with the threequel at this time.

Guy Ritchie has been making the rounds promoting his new movie Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, which stars Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza and Josh Hartnett, but while speaking with Collider, Sherlock Holmes 3 came up as a topic. When the filmmaker was asked if Sherlock Holmes 3 still has a chance of happening or if "that time has come and gone,” he responded:

Well, honestly, I left this up to Robert [Downey Jr.]. So Robert wanted to be in charge of this. The ball's in his court, so he's in charge of the script, he's in charge of the whole thing. I've moonwalked out of that until there's a time for me to get involved.

It’s important to mention that as of right now, Guy Ritchie isn’t attached to Sherlock Holmes 3 as its director. In 2019, it was announced that Rocketman’s Dexter Fletcher would pick up the helming reins on the threequel, but in June 2022, Fletcher said that the COVID-19 pandemic had “derailed” Sherlock Holmes 3, though he still felt the movie should be made. There’s been no official announcement of Fletcher stepping away from Sherlock Holmes 3, so presumably he’s still on board to direct and Ritchie is ready to help out in some other way, likely as an executive producer.

Either way, as Guy Ritchie explained, the ball is in Robert Downey Jr.’s court over whether Sherlock Holmes 3 will someday be made or not. As far as his schedule goes, Downey has been busy with other projects lately, including being part of the massive cast for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, as well as both starring in and executive producing the upcoming HBO series The Sympathizer. So it’s hard to say if Sherlock Holmes 3 is still an important item on his to-do list these days.

It’s also possible that the future of this Sherlock Holmes world doesn’t rest with another movie, but in the TV realm instead. In April 2022, it was reported that Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan Downey were among the executive producers developing two Sherlock Holmes spinoff shows that would screen exclusively for HBO Max subscribers. However, even if one or either of these shows were to move forward, they both focus on new characters who are supposed to be introduced in Sherlock Holmes 3, so it’s unclear if Downey would reprise Sherlock in the shows or if he’s only involved with them behind the scenes.

If/when the day comes when an official decision on what to do with Sherlock Holmes 3 is announced, we’ll be sure to pass it along. Until then, the 2023 new movie releases lineup is available to look over so you can figure out what you’ll watch in theaters or stream later this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.