Movie Reviews

Guy Ritchie Just Killed My Hopes For Sherlock Homes 3 Ever Happening


  • Sherlock Holmes 3 has been in development limbo for 12 years, and Guy Ritchie’s new project makes its future even less likely.
  • Guy Ritchie is directing a Young Sherlock show for Amazon, based on Andy Lane’s novels, with a fresh take on the detective.
  • Although Ritchie hasn’t been officially attached to
    Sherlock Holmes 3
    as the director since 2019, his involvement in a completely different
    project suggests the third film might not happen after all.

Sherlock Holmes 3 has been in development hell for 12 years, and following the announcement of Guy Ritchie’s newest project, I have no hopes for it ever happening. On January 8, 2009, Guy Ritchie brought Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson back to the big screen, with Sherlock Holmes grossing $524 million at the box office. The film, which starred Robert Downey Jr. in the titular role and Jude Law as the famous sidekick, received a sequel three years later, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Between BBC’s Sherlock series, the Robert Downey Jr.-led Sherlock Holmes movies, and the Elementary show, the early 2010s saw a “Sherlock Holmes resurgence” in pop culture that made it seem like future theatrical movies were bound to happen. However, despite Downey Jr.’s massive Iron Man success and the solid returns of the first two films, Sherlock Holmes 3 never happened. A third movie was never officially ruled out, though, which is why I still had some hope that it could happen. Now, however, Sherlock Holmes 3 seems more difficult to happen than ever.

Guy Ritchie Is Directing A Young Sherlock Show For Amazon

Young Sherlock will have eight episodes

Image via Lionsgate

Guy Ritchie, who directed Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, will helm a Young Sherlock series for Amazon. The show, which is based on Andy Lane’s Young Sherlock novels, will star Hero Fiennes Tiffin as a 19-yeard Sherlock as he “finds himself caught up in a murder mystery at Oxford University.” This version of Sherlock is described as “disgraced, raw, unfiltered, and unformed.”Young Sherlock will follow Sherlock’s first case, which will lead him into a “globe-trotting conspiracy” that will impact the young detective’s life forever.


Sherlock Holmes Books In Order: The Best Way To Read The Stories

With so many different adaptations and book editions, the Sherlock Holmes’ reading order can seem complex – here’s the best order to read the books.

Amazon’s Young Sherlock is said to be an action-packed take on the character’s origin story, with Ritchie directing and executive producing the eight-episode series. According to Vernon Sanders, head of television, at Amazon MGM Studios, Young Sherlock will “explore untold mysteries” in how the character became the detective presented in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. Matthew Parkhill, known for Deep State and Rogue, is writing and executive producing the show. Young Sherlock won’t be Hero Fiennes Tiffin’s first collaboration with Guy Ritchie, as the former played Henry Reyes in Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

Guy Ritchie’s Young Sherlock Is Not A Prequel To The RDJ Movies

Young Sherlock is inspired by Andy Lane’s Young Sherlock Holmes books

Watson and Sherlock stand side by side in Sherlock Holmes

Amazon’s Young Sherlock is inspired by Andy Lane’s Young Sherlock Holmes book series, which started in 2010 and currently consists of eight novels. All of the books take place in the late 19th century and follow the adventures of a young Sherlock Holmes, starting with a 14-year-old version of the character in Death Cloud (2010). The latest entry in the series, Night Break, was published in 2015. The Young Sherlock Holmes novels have nothing to do with 1985’s Young Sherlock Holmes, the American film that sees Holmes and Watson meet as teenagers in a boarding school.

Young Sherlock Holmes Books By Andy Lane

Release Date

Death Cloud


Red Leech


Black Ice


Fire Storm


Snake Bite


Knife Edge


Stone Cold


Night Break


Although Amazon’s official Young Sherlock announcement mentions Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies when describing the director’s witty and charming style, there seems to be no connection between the upcoming series and the Robert Downey Jr.-led movies. Although I was initially surprised that Ritchie was stepping back into the world of Sherlock Holmes for a project that was not Sherlock Holmes 3, an adaptation of Young Sherlock Holmes helmed by Ritchie does sound promising. Curiously, in 2022, THR reported that Robert Downey Jr. was developing two Sherlock Holmes shows for HBO Max, but nothing has been said about these projects since.

Two other Sherlock-related TV shows are currently in development:
at CBS and
Sherlock and Daughter
at The CW.

I Have Little Hopes For Sherlock Holmes 3 After Guy Ritchie’s Young Sherlock Announcement

Ritchie’s new Sherlock project could mean Sherlock Holmes 3 isn’t happening anytime soon

More than 12 years after A Game of Shadows hit theaters, I cannot say I was very hopeful that Sherlock Holmes 3 starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law was going to happen anyway. Sherlock Holmes 2 grossed $543 million on a $125 million, which I assumed was good enough for it to get a sequel. It was announced in 2019 that Dexter Fletcher was going to direct the third film instead of Ritchie, but it still hasn’t happened. Speaking to Collider on February 2023, Ritchie explained Sherlock Holmes 3‘s delay and said he left things “up to Robert [Downey Jr.].”

Well, honestly, I left this up to Robert [Downey Jr.]. So Robert wanted to be in charge of this. The ball’s in his court, so he’s in charge of the script, he’s in charge of the whole thing. I’ve moonwalked out of that until there’s a time for me to get involved.

It is difficult to imagine Guy Ritchie will be involved with Sherlock Holmes 3 in any way anytime soon now that he is working on a completely different Sherlock project for Amazon, which could run for multiple seasons if successful. Sherlock Holmes 3 could still happen, especially considering Ritchie would likely be involved as a producer only, but it seems way less likely now. That said, as someone who enjoyed Ritchie’s take on Sherlock – a more action-packed, blockbuster-style version of Conan Doyle’s stories – I’m excited to see what he does with Young Sherlock.

Sources: Prime Video, Collider

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