The word is out, with his time as Iron Man having reached a climax with the two-part Avengers bombast of this year and next, Robert Downey Jr. is returning as Sherlock Holmes for a third go-round, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Even though Downey's Sherlock is never quite anyone's mental picture of a true Sherlock Holmes figure, he's still fun to watch and Jude Law's Watson almost makes up for the Downey-zation of Holmes. But here's the big question: Where do they have left to go?
In 2009's Sherlock Holmes, he stopped a supernatural plot to wipe out the British government by a seeming dark sorcerer. In 2011's Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, he stopped Professor Moriarty from starting a world war in the Victorian era, kills Moriarty by going over the biggest Reichenbach Falls ever, returns from the dead, and, oh, yes . . . sees Irene Adler die. So, no Irene, no Moriarty.
Now, with the promise of a 2020 Sherlock Holmes: The Hound in Space . . . no, that's not really the title, but after going from England-threat to world-threat in movies one and two, space would seem to be the only level left for Downey's Holmes to get up to . . . oh . . . wait . . . .
Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds by Manly Wade Wellman and Wade Wellman has never been adapted to the screen, has it? (Cue insane laughter here. And man, I'm kind of glad my dad's name wasn't "Manly Brad Keefauver." I have enough issues as it is!)
How big does Sherlock Holmes Part Three have to go? Is it possible that Asylum Films foresaw the future, and Downey's next turn as Holmes will be a big budget version of Sherlock Holmes and Dinosaurs? It's not space, but you don't get much bigger than dinosaurs!
Can the action get much bigger than all those exploding trees of the last outing? Can any Canonical characters fill the shoes of Irene Adler and James Moriarty? (Personally, I'd say Maud Bellamy and Baron Gruner could, but I know I'm not even in the mainstream of Sherlockiana there.) Milverton isn't cinematically action-inspiring enough. Moran's dead, right? Can a Downey film restrain itself to something as simple as The Hound of the Baskervilles? Even Jack the Ripper seems too small potatoes . . . he'd have to be replaced by a Victorian Freddy Krueger to be big enough for Downey Sherlock.
The mind boggles at the possibility of one more big screen mega-Sherlock tale from Downey and Law . . . literally. So I guess I'm just going to be boggled until we get the first previews for what's to come in 2020. And, man, do I pity those screenwriters.