A decade ago Guy Richie teamed up with Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law for a blockbuster take on Sherlock Holmes. Riding the wave of his comeback that started the year before with Iron Man, Downey Jr proved that his first time suiting up as Tony Stark was no fluke. Released back in 2009, Sherlock Holmes was a runaway hit generating more than $524 million worldwide; a sequel was fast-tracked arriving in 2011 doing slightly better with a global haul of $545 million.
Over the last eight years, both Downey Jr and Law have been vocal over their desire to make a third film, but a sequel has yet to materialize. However, the project is finally moving full steam ahead thanks to Downey Jr having some space in his schedule now he has completed his Marvel contract. There will be one significant change behind the camera for the belated sequel with Guy Richie not returning to direct. Since he struck out from the "geezers n gangsters crime capers" that he built his career on, Richie has made some unexpected choices. The Man From UNCLE, and King Arthur both failed to launch the planned franchises, but this year's live-action Aladdin remake struck box office gold. Richie is returning to the crime genre with his upcoming The Gentlemen starring Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Charlie Hunnam, and Hugh Grant.
Richie's replacement is one close to home with actor turned filmmaker Dexter Fletcher (Eddie The Eagle, Rocketman) taking on his biggest film to date. Fletcher starred as Soap in Richie's film debut Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels back in 1998, and in recent years has become an accomplished director. So much so that when Bryan Singer was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody by 20th Century Fox, Fletcher (who was previously attached to direct the film in 2014) was drafted in to complete filming. Production is due to start early next year with Sherlock Holmes 3 currently slated to arrive on December 21, 2021.