It has been over 10 years since Robert Downey Jr. portrayed Sherlock Holmes on the big screen. And even if the long-delayed Sherlock Holmes 3 never comes to theaters, Downey is far from finished with the great detective. Via The Hollywood Reporter, Downey is set to executive produce a pair of Sherlock Holmes spinoff TV series for HBO Max.
Downey first portrayed Sherlock Holmes opposite Jude Law’s Dr. John Watson in the 2009 feature film directed by Guy Ritchie. Downey and Law reprised their roles two years later in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Both movies were produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, and the proposed spinoffs will be connected to the films as part of a larger Sherlock Holmes universe. It’s unclear if Downey plans to reprise his role for either series.
Lionel Wigram, one of the writers on the first Sherlock Holmes and a producer of both films, is also attached to executive produce the two spinoffs in development.
Sherlock Holmes and his associated characters were created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 19th century. The vast majority of Conan Doyle’s stories are also in the public domain. Regardless, Sherlock Holmes was never designed to be a franchise that supported multiple leading characters. But that doesn’t make it impossible. Hollywood has already made a Young Sherlock movie, and there could be more stories to be told about Holmes’ love interest, Irene Adler. Her mind was as sharp as Sherlock’s.
In our opinion, Professor James Moriarty should also be another candidate for a Sherlock Holmes spinoff series. Conan Doyle described Moriarty as “the Napoleon of Crime,” and he was one of the few villains who could match or even exceed Holmes’ brilliance.
According to THR’s report, both spinoffs are still in the early stages of development. They will be produced for Warner Bros. Television through Downey’s production company, Team Downey. Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell will also executive produce the spinoffs alongside Downey and Wigram.