Development paused on Sherlock Holmes 3, The Saint reboot

Sherlock Holmes
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Dexter Fletcher confirms that two big Hollywood productions he’s involved with are now on hold for the time being.

Dexter Fletcher, the director of Rocketman of course, has been chatting about a couple of high-profile projects he’s involved with that are currently in a state of suspended uncertainty as the world continues to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking on the Celebrity Catch-Up podcast (that you can find here), Fletcher confirmed the previously-announced news that he’s set to direct the third instalment in the Sherlock Holmes films, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, as well as a big screen reboot of The Saint.

The last entry in the Sherlock Holmes series, Game Of Shadows, was released in 2011, but only recently its titular star, Downey Jr, was discussing how the property would be ripe for the cinematic universe treatment. In the wake of Marvel’s shared universe success over the last 12 years, several other studios have tried to replicate its formula with limited success. Still, Downey Jr. does know a thing or two about it, having been the central figure in Marvel’s films since the beginning.

Despite their being a clear appetite then to bring this incarnation of Holmes back for a shared-universe launching third instalment, Fletcher acknowledges that there are issues with getting the film into production, stating “Sherlock’s hit its own issues on and off. That’s sort of sitting on the back burner at the moment until it becomes clear where the world is at and what’s going to happen.”

On the subject of The Saint, Fletcher alludes to the production stresses of working in a Covid-hit world as being the major issue. With this film project in particular, we’d imagine that any studio involved would want the guarantee of a clear production schedule given the property’s rather rocky past. The last incarnation of the character on the big screen was the 1997 Val Kilmer movie that was not universally loved. Subsequent attempts to reboot the TV version of the character haven’t got past the pilot stage.

Even legendary producers such as (the late) Robert Evans and Lorenzo di Bonaventura weren’t able to get a movie version off the ground, despite trying for several years now.

As Fletcher puts it, it seems any green light on either project will only come when there are no lingering concerns about shutdowns or delays. “They [Saint & Sherlock] are both up against the same dilemma, the same issue that we all [have]: How do you get large groups of people together to create something and then shift them all around the world? And what do you do with actors that are in a love scene? It’s complicated.”

It certainly is. More news on either of these projects as we hear it.

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