Robert Downey, Jr. Hypes Up Fans Over ‘Sherlock Holmes 3’

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Sherlock Holmes 3 wasn’t mentioned at all during San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, but that didn’t stop star Robert Downey, Jr. from hyping his fans up online about the upcoming project. Downey shared a photo to his Instagram page yesterday of himself alongside Jude Law, who portrayed Watson in the last two Sir Arthur Conan Doyle-inspired flicks.

“By any chance, have you missed us?” Downey captioned the new post, which he complimented with a slew of Sherlock Holmes inspired hashtags.

The photo of Downey and Law was from the first film which debuted back in 2009. It’s sequel, A Game of Shadows, followed two years later, but it has now been almost seven years that fans have been without a Sherlock Holmes sequel.

In May, Entertainment Weekly confirmed that a third installment was definitely happening in the Guy Ritchie franchise, and let fans know they could look forward to a Christmas, 2020, release date. With a release date just under a year-and-a-half away, that would mean filming for the movie would start sometime in the next few months. There has been no word on production moving forward just yet, but fans are speculating Downey’s new post means it’ll be happening sooner rather than later.

“YES!!!!! Don’t tease us like this! Is 3 in the works?!!” one fan asked under the new Instagram post.

A 2020 Christmas release date would put Sherlock Holmes 3 just one week behind the premiere of James Cameron’s highly anticipated Avatar 2. It’s unlikely any film could surpass Avatar 2, even after its debut weekend. Sherlock Holmes 3 will face fierce competition in the box office, but it’s possible its release date could be moved up or postponed to prevent that from happening.

The first Sherlock Holmes earned a respectable $524 million in the worldwide box office, with a stellar opening of $62 million on opening weekend. A Game of Shadows didn’t have as successful of a opening, earning only $39 million, but rebounded with $545 million earned worldwide. Sherlock Holmes 3 has a chance of performing well in the box office, based on the fact that it’s been quite some time since the last film in the series debuted and could succeed solely based off curiosity from fans.

For now, the only confirmed cast members in Sherlock Holmes 3 are Downey and Law. Rachel McAdams is rumored to return as Irene Adler, which might confuse fans as she supposedly died in the last film.

Screenwriter Chris Brancato of Narcos fame is set to pen the script, with Guy Ritchie back at the helm to direct.