With his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. kicked off the biggest and most successful shared cinematic universe in history. And now that the actor is done with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he apparently wants to try his luck again. That’s the word from a keynote panel the popular Downey Jr. and wife/producing partner Susan moderated at the Fast Company Innovation Festival on Monday, revealing that they want to launch a “mystery-verse”.
Besides for Iron Man, Downey Jr.’s other most iconic role is that of Sherlock Holmes in the two Guy Ritchie-directed movies released in 2009 and 2011, respectively, to great success. Despite plans for a third film being announced before the second had even released, and several writers taking a crack at the script, nothing has since come of it. This was possibly due to Downey Jr.’s busy MCU schedule during that time, but as the actor’s dance card opened up recently, Warner Bros. set Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman) to direct with a possible December 2021 release date. And Downey Jr. wants to use this third film as a launchpad for a whole new series of stories set in this world.
At this point, we really feel that there is not a mystery-verse built out anywhere, and Conan Doyle is the definitive voice in that arena, I think, to this day. So to me, why do a third movie if you’re not going to be able to spin off into some real gems of diversity and other times and elements?
We’re not repeaters, we don’t want to just do what’s been done somewhere else. But I think the model itself has become much more dimensionalized than it was before.
Adding to this, Susan Downey explained that the pair want to take what they learned at Marvel and how the studio took a bunch of existing stories and adapted them to new mediums. Mediums that included both big and small screens, which is something Sherlock Holmes production studio Warner Bros. is already interested in.
We think there’s an opportunity to build it out more Spin-off characters from a third movie, to see what’s going on in the television landscape, to see what Warner Media is starting to build out, things with HBO and HBO Max.
I do think that the decade of tutelage and observation, what we were both able to have with Marvel, watching them build out and see all the opportunities, was invaluable. It was like a master class. And they really did know what they were doing and they had this tight-knit group of people from [the] jump locked into a vision that enables them to broaden the comics into 23 hit movies (so far).
Downey Jr. does admit though that this won’t be easy. Marvel took a chance and struck gold by having Joss Whedon’s creative voice set the tone of the entire universe as he brought together heroes in The Avengers. It’s that combination of daring and talent that will make this a reality.
What I saw was very humble beginnings, very uncertain outcomes, a lot of creative risk-taking, but there was also an algorithm to the potential. It’s also having the right people. Different sensibilities will get you to different places downfield.
Hopefully, one of those places is finally another Sherlock Holmes movie.
Last Updated: October 8, 2020