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Robert Downey Jr. has been keeping busy in recent years mainly with his numerous Tony Stark performances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a result, it's been a while since we last saw him as Sherlock Holmes; seven years, to be precise. However, now that Downey appears to be winding down his time as Iron Man, the actor is apparently preparing to reprise Arthur Conan Doyle's creation in Sherlock Holmes 3, reuniting him with the John Watson to his Holmes, Jude Law. Details are still scarce about what to expect from Sherlock Holmes 3, but Law has teased that just like in real life, a lot of time will have passed when Sherlock and Watson finally reunite. In Law's words:
We hope to propel the story forward. As always, the essence of the story is their codependency. We're going to examine --- since it's been several years since we've seen them --- we're going to play up the fact that they haven't seen each other for a long time either.
By the time Sherlock Holmes 3 finally hits the silver screen, it will be nearly a decade since Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows came out. Rather than have the threequel take place immediately after A Game of Shadows, as Jude Law told EW, the next movie will instead play off the fact that Holmes and Watson haven't seen each other in years. If this version of Holmes revealing to Watson that he's still alive goes anything like how it went down on the Sherlock TV series, then I imagine Watson will be incredibly angry to learn that Holmes kept this secret from him for so long. Not to mention the codependency element that Law also mentioned. A Game of Shadows explored this with Watson's marriage to Mary Morstan, but since Holmes and Watson will have been separated for years when Sherlock Holmes 3 picks things up, who knows how that will affect their relationship.
Similar to how events unfolded in Arthur Conan Doyle's story "The Final Problem," Sherlock Holmes was believed to have died when he threw himself and Professor James Moriarty into Reichenbach Falls in A Game of Shadows. However, in the sequel's final minutes, we learn that like his literary counterpart, Holmes survived his fall into the icy waters. After Watson received a package containing a breathing device Mycroft Holmes built that Sherlock expressed interest in, a camouflaged Holmes revealed himself once his friend had left his office. Walking over to the typewriter where Watson was writing his memoirs, he added a question mark after 'The End.' The adventures aren't over yet, and once Holmes reveals to Watson that he's still breathing in Sherlock Holmes 3, then the two can (hopefully) resume solving crimes together.
Aside from Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprising their respective roles, as well as Chris Brancato penning the script, no specific details for Sherlock Holmes 3 have been revealed yet, so stay tuned for more updates. The movie will be released in theaters on Christmas Day, 2020.