Robert Downey Jr. has signed on to executive produce two scripted Sherlock Holmes television series for HBO Max. The shows, which will be based on the acclaimed detective stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, are currently in early development at the WarnerMedia-backed streaming service, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The series will mark a return to the franchise for Downey, who played the detective in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film and its 2011 sequel, which were both directed by Guy Ritchie. The actor will executive produce both shows through his production company, Team Downey.
Downey will be joined on both series by fellow executive producer, Lionel Wigram. The latter filmmaker received a story credit on the first movie and produced both features.
It’s not currently known known if Downey will reprise his role of Sherlock on either show. The actor’s wife, Susan Downey, and Amanda Burrell, who both also work at Team Downey, will both also executive produce both series. The Downeys first discussed creating the Sherlock Holmes spinoff shows in 2020
Additional details about the series, including their premise and how inter-connected they’ll be, are also currently being kept under wraps.
Both television adaptations are also being developed by Warner Bros. Television, whose feature film counterpart produced the Sherlock Holmes movies. Team Downey remains under an overall deal with HBO.
News of the possible Sherlock Holmes scripted television universe comes after HBO Max began building a new connected universe of DC Comics series from executive producer J.J. Abrams. The streaming service is also working with James Gunn on the Suicide Squad spinoff show, Peacemaker. Matt Reeves is also launching a Batman offshoot based on Colin Farrell’s character of Penguin. The company is also developing multiple Game of Thrones spin-off series.
Besides starring in the Sherlock Holmes franchise, Downey also made a name for himself in the late 200s and the 2010s by playing Iron Man / Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Over the past couple years, the MCU has helped boost Disney+ with a number of television spinoffs.
Sherlock Holmes holds the world record for the most portrayed literary character in film and television history, as more than 75 actors have played the role. Most recently, Jonny Lee Miller took on the part in CBS’ procedural drama series, Elementary, which ended in 2019.
Besides the Sherlock Holmes shows, Team Downey executive produces multiple other television series. They include HBO’s Perry Mason, Netflix’s Sweet Tooth and HBO Max’s For Your Own Good.