Guy Ritchie will not return to helm the third installment in the Sherlock Holmes franchise starring Robert Downey Jr.
The film will, instead, be led by Dexter Fletcher, who also directed the recently released Elton John biopic Rocketman featuring Taron Egerton, and was responsible for adding the finishing touches to 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
It remains unclear just why Ritchie chose not to return, though various publications have posited that creative differences between him and producers Warner Brothers that arose after the massive failure of his most recent venture with the studio, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, might have been the foremost reason.
But the franchise is, nonetheless, in safe hands.
As aforementioned, Fletcher has been at the head of two highly successful biopics in the past year, and has proven his ability to juggle with plots that focus their attention on larger than life personalities, a description that amply fits the character of Holmes even without the charisma that Downey brings to the table in copious amounts.
The Sherlock Holmes films have been a commercial hit for Warner Brothers, and both installments have grossed more than $1 billion at the global box-office combined, a number that is expected to increase significantly this time around. Though Downey was already a superstar due to his portrayal of Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the previous Holmes film came even before the first Avengers had released, a period since when the MCU has grown considerably.
However, a release date for Sherlock Holmes 3 remains undecided as of yet.
No screenplay has been reported to be in the works, and it’s safe to presume even if there is a mystery draft that already exists, extensive rewrites will now be conducted under Fletcher’s watchful eye, and we’re thus unlikely to see the film anytime before 2021 at the earliest.