Say what you will about Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better source of pure wackadoo fun where nothing really matters or makes sense, with the whole thing anchored by a weirdly compelling performance from Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes. His accent is inexplicable! He frequently stops time to talk through his thought-process, a far more effective and less-cheesy conceit than the “mind palace” stuff from Sherlock! He wears stupid disguises! Again: pure wackadoo fun.
With a third movie now in the works from Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher, Deadline says that HBO Max is moving forward with a plan to spin-off the Sherlock Holmes movies into two separate TV shows—neither of which will be about either Downey’s Holmes or Jude Law’s Dr. John Watson. Deadline says the two shows “would revolve around characters that have not been introduced yet,” which is kind of a wild pitch for something that is ostensibly based on the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories.
Deadline compares the concept to HBO Max’s Peacemaker, which expanded on a character that was introduced in The Suicide Squad, but that show also had the whole DC Universe to play around with. What other two characters in the Holmes-verse could carry their own shows? The two movies already introduced Moriarty, Irene Adler, and Mycroft, most of whom died, and it’s not like Sherlock has a previously unmentioned sister that HBO Max could suddenly bring in (as if anyone would bother with such a patently ridiculous idea).
Maybe the Baker Street Irregulars could carry a TV show? A bunch of homeless children solving mysteries in the vaguely steampunk world of the Downey movies? Or maybe we find out that a super-intelligent mouse lives just below the house on Baker Street and solves mysteries of his own? Maybe he has a friend named Dr. Dawson and they team up to stop Dr. Ratigan, the world’s greatest criminal… mouse? Disney’s certainly not doing shit with that idea.
Also, not to detract from the fun references, but a TV spin-off of the Sherlock Holmes movies is exactly what Village Roadshow was mad at Warner Bros. about earlier this year when it accused the studio of “excluding” it from discussions about what to do with “prequels, sequels, or television shows” that the two companies had produced or financed together—movies like the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes series. It doesn’t sound like there’s been any movement on that dispute since February, but if these two spin-offs move forward, we may be hearing about it again.