When people talk about Sherlock Holmes, in this day and age, they are often referring to the BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson – and rightly so. BBC’s Sherlock is the definitive version of the character and the best produced.
But let’s not forget that there are two more versions of the character out there. Jonny Lee Miller brought Sherlock Holmes to New York with the series Elementary, which I actually enjoyed but had to drop because other better shows took priority.
But perhaps the closest rival to Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is that of his Marvel Cinematic Universe co-star, Robert Downey Jr. (Cumberbatch will play Marvel’s Doctor Strange thus joining Downey Jr.’s Iron Man in the MCU)
However, I don’t know if it’s the sites that I’m reading, the videos I’m watching or the people that I follow, but it feels like no one outright likes Downey Jr.’s Sherlock features and no one seems to want another one … except me.
I must rephrase that; no one seems to be eager for a third Sherlock Holmes starring Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Dr. John Watson because to them the first two instalments were mediocre. I disagree.
But, before we move on with that, let’s take a look at why I’m writing this post in the first place. And no its not because there’s nothing else of note to write about and these fingers get extremely bored if they’re not tippy tapping a keyboard.
Downey Jr., unfortunately for him, is doing extensive publicity rounds for Captain America: Civil War. I think for his next multi-billion dollar Marvel contract, Downey Jr. just needs to say that for him to do publicity, ‘Iron Man’ needs to be in the title. Nevertheless, Downey Jr. was asked about a possible Sherlock Holmes 3 in an interview with Shortlist:
“If we could shoot it on Skype, we could have it done in a week. I know Guy Ritchie [Ritchie directed the first two features] loves me as much as I love him – and he damn well should. When we’re making those Sherlock movies it is off the hook. 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 excited about it.”
Here’s the thing, Guy Ritchie’s version of Sherlock Holmes may not be as good as BBC’s superior one but it is a damn close second, particularly due to the people involved.
All the people that worried about an American in Robert Downey Jr. playing Sherlock Holmes realised, after the 2009 feature film, that Downey was more than equipped for the role. I understood the hesitation. British actors are somehow better at assuming the American accent than American actors are at assuming the British one.
The 2009 feature also featured a competent, fun and supporting role played by Jude Law aka Dr. John Watson. Together the two actors had an effervescent and tangible bro-bond that really brought the whole film together, averting attention away from Mark Strong’s rather forgettable villain.
The second film, bowing in 2011, improved greatly on the first. It still retained the camaraderie of Downey Jr. and Law but threw in a damn good Moriarty played effortlessly by Jared Harris.
And the maestro pulling all the strings, Guy Ritchie, proved that he really is the exciting and fun director we all wanted him to be. After bursting onto the scene with thoroughly fun films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. But after his huge escapade with someone called Madonna, Ritchie delivered a horrendous film in Swept Away and two films well below his level, Revolver and RocknRolla. But Ritchie proved, with Sherlock Holmes, that he still had the talent and the imagination to do something really cool with an established property. And then he went and directed The Man from UNCLE, a really enjoyable film that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. As far as I am concerned, Ritchie is back to his best. And I want to see him complete his story.
Also, Drew Pearce is writing Sherlock Holmes 3. Whilst Pearce’s first feature film screenplay comes via the utterly terrible Iron Man 3 – seriously its bad, I don’t understand the love – one levels the blame for that film at Shane Black, who co-wrote and directed the film. And Pierce also contributed to the Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation screenplay, perhaps the best Mission: Impossible film yet.
And then throw in Lionel Wigram as a co-writer and you have me sold. For those that don’t know, Wigram co-wrote The Man From UNCLE with Guy Ritchie and whilst the finished film was typical in its narrative, Wigram and Ritchie captured a snarky and witty strand of humour and dialogue that fits perfectly in this particular rendition of Sherlock Holmes.
And after all this, after Downey Jr.’s comments, the addition of screenwriters and Ritchie’s current hot streak, Sherlock Holmes 3 still seems a while off. It’s been 5 years since the second film hit theatres. Everyone involved has been talking about a third film for years now and fating that it will begin filming soon. Perhaps this time may actually be the time or perhaps its not.
Regardless, I don’t even know if people are excited for this Sherlock, I just know that I am.
Sherlock Holmes 3 does not have a release date.