Sherlock Holmes - along with Iron Man - was one of the properties that helped bring Robert Downey Jr. back into the public consciousness. With the help of Jude Law and the direction of Guy Ritchie, RDJ brought a new sense of excitement to the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over a century ago. This film grossed $524 million worldwide despite having to go toe-to-toe with James Cameron's Avatar at the box office.
Watch a clip from Sherlock Holmes below:
The film was quickly followed up by Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows which was released in 2011 which grossed $545 million. Although both films were financially successful and well-received by critics, It has been 5 years have passed with very little news regarding a third installment in the franchise. The lack of movement on the property may have something to do with the success of the acclaimed BBC drama Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and/or with RDJ being tied up in all of his Marvel films. It seemed as if RDJ's Sherlock Holmes character had been left in the dust — until now.
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'Sherlock Holmes 3'
Finally, we've seen some movement on the third film in the franchise! Variety recently confirmed that a whole host of writers are currently drafting a script for the third film in the Sherlock Holmes franchise. Although there's no word yet on whether or not Downey is confirmed to reprise his role, Shortlist's interview with the man himself earlier this year certainly made it sound likely:
If we could shoot it on Skype, we could have the whole [movie] done in a week. When we’re making those Sherlock movies it is off the hook. [So] we’ll attempt to make one this year. It really is a big deal to go and do those movies. I’m tired all the time, but I’m so excited about it
Variety has reported that Nicole Perlman (Guardians of The Galaxy), Gary Whitta (Rogue One), Justin Malen (Baywatch), Kieren Fitzgerald (Snowden), and Geneva Dworet-Robertson (Tomb Raider) have all been hired to write the script for Sherlock Holmes 3. It is assumed that Jude Law will reprise the role of Watson and Guy Ritchie will return to direct, if he's not too busy with the Aladdin live action reboot over at Disney.
The curious thing about this news is the idea of creating a "writer's room". This is a tactic used in television to help weave several stories together in a cohesive manner. So what are the writers are they trying to accomplish?
It can't be that they need to craft an entire world; they have the extended works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to pull from. Maybe they are just trying to get more ideas out at once so they can put a script together faster. However, "more cooks in the kitchen" doesn't always mean that anything will get down faster - usually it's quite the opposite.
Studios usually implement a "writer's room" when films share an overarching cinematic universe, like with Universal with their shared Monsters Universe. How could Sherlock Holmes have a shared universe? His stories are pretty much contained to his world, he doesn't team-up often at all. However, there is one group Sherlock Holmes lends assistance to: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'
This may sound like a crazy idea, but Sherlock Holmes could help launch The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen reboot. The last attempt at this property was an unmitigated disaster, but that was over a decade ago. It was once just another comic book adaptation gone awry, but now it is an opportunity waiting to be seized.
Check out the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Trailer from 2003 below:
In Alan Moore's definitive works, Captain Nemo, Allan Quatermain, Dr. Jekyll, and Hawley Griffin the Invisible Man are recruited to help stop a gang war between Fu Manchu and Moriarty. If the name Moriarty sounds familiar, it is because he is the yang to Sherlock Holme's yin, and an integral part of both worlds.
It is of note that in the source material, we never see Holmes as an active member of The League. However, we see in a panel that the symbol of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen appears on his cigarette case, hinting that he was at least once a member of the League. This makes logical sense, seeing as they also oppose his nemesis, Professor Moriarty. The League of Extraordinary Gentleman and Sherlock Holmes are both well-known properties and if we have learned one thing about Hollywood, it's that they love to re-hash old ideas. So all that being said, what would a shared universe between these to titles look like?
A Shared Universe
The folks over at Warner Brothers already have 2 large franchises with The Harry Potter films and The DC Extended Universe. Could they be be looking down the barrel at a third? At first glance it seems unlikely, but the "writers room" they've put together just doesn't make sense for just one film. Especially since it's the third in the series and they have a plethora source material to pull from.
There has been rumblings of a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen reboot for awhile, but recently it has been all quiet on that front. That could be due to the fact that the two properties are merging together. The team of writers that has been assembled could be working on multiple through lines leading Sherlock to join or start The League.
If they decide to take a different route than the graphic novel, they could have Holmes recruiting the members of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen -much like The Batfleck is doing in the DCEU - to fight a force he can't defeat on his own. The idea of a "turn of the century Avengers" has all the steam-punk goodness that could drum up quite an audience. They could then introduce each character for their own individual film before or after they team up. This spawns more films and allows RDJ to pop in and out, essentially just like he does as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
When all is said and done, the 5 writers they have hired could just be writing one script to craft the perfect ending to the Sherlock Holmes trilogy. The far more exciting conclusion is that we are headed towards The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie that we deserve. The game is on!
Sound off! Would you like to see Sherlock Holmes join The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Let it be known in the comments section below!