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Robery Downey Jr may (or may not) be on the verge of saying goodbye to Tony Stark, but he's getting ready to say hello to another of his popular characters. The actor recently tweeted a GIF of himself which would seem to indicate he's in the early stages of getting ready to return to the role of Sherlock Holmes. Check it out.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows came out back in 2011 and, while the film certainly left itself open for a sequel, no movement on such a film seemed to be actually happening. Then, while most fans were getting excited for the forthcoming Avengers films, Robert Downey Jr. revealed that he had been in regular communication with Guy Ritchie about making a third film and that it was actually happening. While some time has passed since then, it was clear the project was quite real, and now the movie even has a release date, Christmas 2020.
For a movie that's well over a year away, it's a bit early for production to be getting started on Sherlock Holmes 3, but with the way that Robert Downey Jr. tends to keep busy, it's possible that the only window available was coming up. It's also possible that Downey just finds himself making his "Sherlock Holmes face" while he reads the script.
It's also likely that Sherlock Holmes 3 still has some time before it actually gets rolling because Guy Ritchie is currently busy directing Disney's live-action Aladdin movie and, while he has never been officially confirmed as the director of Holmes 3 it seems unlikely that anybody else would end up taking that job. It seems more likely that the fact that we won't see the movie until 2020 is so that all the important people will be available.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows saw Holmes and Moriarty go over the Reichenbach Falls together as they did in the classic Sherlock Holmes story The Final Problem. The film version decided to not quite end on a cliffhanger, revealing to the audience that Holmes was, in fact, alive. However, none of the characters know it. Clearly, Sherlock Holmes 3 will deal with this little issue as it opens, before likely going off to deal with an entirely new story.
The two Sherlock Holmes films have combined to make over $1 billion worldwide, with the sequel outgrossing the original by a slight margin globally. That's a pretty solid take for only two movies. While the wait for the third entry has been a bit longer than we might have expected, it's unlikely the audience has forgotten the franchise.