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Lead star Robert Downey Jr. has today provided an update on the current status of the pre-production of Warner Bros.' long-rumoured sequel to their 2011 detective blockbuster Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Starring Downey Jr. as the eponymous Great Detective alongside Jude Law (whose rendition of Doctor Watson all but eclipses each and every one of his predecessors in our eyes), Jared Harris and - how could we possibly forget? - QI's Stephen Fry, the aforementioned follow-up to Guy Ritchie's 2009 series opener Sherlock Holmes served as a loose adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's near-iconic short story "The Final Problem" and, we might add, did a cracking job in the process, even if the central narrative itself did pale somewhat in comparison to Stephen Thompson's take on the tale in the enviably accomplished 2012 Sherlock episode known only as "The Reichenbach Fall".
In light of Downey Jr.'s prolonged reputation for breaking the rules - in more ways than one - it shouldn't come as any major shock when we reveal that the Iron Man and The Judge star didn't wait for approval from Warner or Ritchie - who has already stated his intent to return to the director's chair on multiple occasions - to pull back the metaphorical veil on what was previously a project that its leading members wanted to remain shrouded in secrecy. Quizzed on Reddit about the possibility of a third instalment, the American thespian gave a remarkably unambiguous response: "Yes, we have a [third Sherlock Holmes film] in development. We want it to be the best in the series, so that's a pretty tall order." Indeed it is, Mr. Holmes, and just as importantly, the latter sentiment would explain precisely why we've heard so little regarding the project's progress and/or the Conan Doyle text(s) it will take inspiration from up until now. Matching the original Holmes - a film which we would have awarded a wholly earned 5* score to had On-Screen been around at the time of its release - will, of course, represent no mean feat, yet given that A Game of Shadows fell prey to the troublesome pitfalls of tonal inconsistency - one minute its scribes seemed to ape the first flick, the next they were going for something all the more sombre - and the needless prioritization of quasi-romantic set-pieces and clunky exposition within a blockbuster franchise that made a name for itself based on its effortless balancing of relentless action with earnest comedy, rivalling or even besting the second entry shouldn't be as much of a tall ask. Naturally, we'll await the motion picture in question with avid anticipation and will endeavour to keep our mighty readership up-to-date with all of the latest developments as and when they manifest themselves online!
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is available to purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray now. The BBC's beloved adaptation of Conan Doyle's works, meanwhile - that's Sherlock to you and I - will return with a one-off special in Winter 2015 before its fourth season is broadcast on BBC One in Spring 2016.