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It had been years since we had heard much about plans for a third film in Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes franchise. Now, in the matter of just a few days, that has been completely turned around, as apparently this movie is now in full pre-production mode. After Downey informed the world that a third film was coming, we’ve now learned that there’s a new writer on the job. However, depending on how much writing needs to be done, this could drastically impact the actor’s original statements.
Back in 2011 it was reported that the writer of Iron Man 3, as well as Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Drew Pearce had been tasked with the script for Sherlock Holmes 3. Now, Deadline is reporting that James Coyne will be handling a rewrite of the script. This would be by far Coyle biggest project to date as his previous writing credits have been for direct to DVD action fare starring the likes of Dolph Lundgren and Legends of Tomorrow co-star Dominic Purcell. Though he’s also responsible for a Treasure Island script that made the Black List. What’s unclear here is the exact definition of the term "rewrite." It could mean that he’s simply taking an existing script from Pearce, or somebody else, it has been five years after all, and polishing it or making some changes. It’s also possible he’ll be rewriting the script entirely and just starting over from scratch.
The difference is more than a little important as the first option means they could have a shooting script very soon, and the other does not. Last week, Robert Downey Jr. was asked about the possibility of a third Sherlock Holmes and he intimated it could begin shooting as soon as later this year, which certainly implied they had a script or were close to one. If we assume that everybody’s on the same page here, then it’s likely the script is nearly ready and may just need some tweaks. However, it’s also possible Downey was being overly optimistic.
Several months ago, producer Lionel Wigram said that the script for Sherlock Holmes 3 was being worked on, but his comments about the difficulty in coming up with a good idea that would make a third film worth doing made it sound like they were having trouble doing so. It appears that the script has been the sticking point all along. Hopefully, the added energy of James Coyne will be the thing that turns this film from a plan into an actual movie.
Both previous Sherlock Holmes films have grossed over a half billion dollars globally, so you can be sure that Warner Bros. would love to see a third movie materialize. We want to see it sooner rather than later as well, although we also want to see it be good so please, take your time.