It's been a long time coming, but we're finally getting a follow up to the excellent Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows. It's just that you're now going to have to wait just that little bit longer for the film on top of the decade it's taken for it to come out so far.
Yep, that long.
Anyway, the third movie in the Holmes franchise is now coming out on December 22, 2021, according to THR and will be set a decade after Game Of Shadows in the 1900s. There's no reason for the delay, but it probably has a lot to do with the fact that it doesn't have a script or a director and possibly because Will Ferrell and John C Riley just dragged the good names of Holmes and Watson through the mud.
Proximity can often be a terrible thing for movie releases, so it wouldn't be a massive surprise if Warner Bros have one eye on the damage that "comedy" has done. When they have their own, so-far profitable series with the same name, the larger the gap they can open between that and something that there's even remotely a possible link to, the better for them. There'll be no doubt be a conversation about audience perception, even at a low level.
And why a year's delay? Well, the previous two Sherlock Holmes movies came out in December and it was a profitable time for Warner Bros to position it, so it's likely they're simply keeping that tradition up to follow precedent. It's now set to go up against Hotel Transylvania 4 and Universal's adaptation of the Wicked musical. Those three are the kind of films that can probably compete healthily around Christmas without cannibalising each other's audiences too much.
The question now will be who directs. Guy Ritchie made the first two and it would make sense for him to complete the trilogy - especially if it's to continue the narrative threads he kicked off and has further developed - but he's been busy on Aladdin and has Bush coming up, so he wouldn't have been available for the original schedule. Now that it's a year further out, could he come back?