Years after playing the iconic sleuth in two Guy Ritchie features, the famed ‘Iron Man’ will work with WarnerMedia to deliver two new series for the small screen.
WarnerMedia has set its sights on bringing Sherlock Holmes to television, developing two scripted series centered around Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective hero.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Robert Downey Jr. will executive produce both shows through his company, Team Downey. As of now, no details have been disclosed on who will play Holmes -- a role Downey modernized in two successful Guy Ritchie-directed features in 2009 and 2011.
Lionel Wigram, who wrote the story for Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and produced both that film and its sequel, will also executive produce, alongside Team Downey’s Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell. No plot details have been uncovered at this time.
Warner Bros. Television developed both projects, and Team Downey will help produce them as part of its overall deal with HBO. The move follows a pervasive trend among media companies to bet big on franchise-ready IP -- a strategy built to maintain competitiveness against rival streaming platforms with equally IP-rich libraries.
We’ve seen this play out across the media landscape for some time now, from WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery and Toho, Toei, Studio Khara, and Tsubaraya Productions’ plans for their “Shin Japan Heroes Universe” to Jay Ward Productions’ partnership with WildBrain and Crunchyroll’s absorption of the Funimation library. Bankable IP like Sherlock Holmes - a character portrayed by over 75 actors across generations - will allow WarnerMedia to incentivize subscriptions and build out yet another in-house franchise for stay-at-home bingers.
Both Sherlock series will complement an ever-expanding HBO Max slate that includes a new connected universe of DC Comics series from executive producer J.J. Abrams; the James Gunn-created Suicide Squad spinoff, Peacemaker; and a forthcoming Batman spinoff centered around The Penguin from The Batman director Matt Reeves.