Benedict Cumberbatch might finally be ready to hang his detective hat, cloak and pipe.
The Oscar-nominated and Emmy-nominated star of Sherlock is inching ever so close to a fond farewell to the British crime-solving sleuth, even as fans wait for the first new non-holiday episode of the series since 2014.
And while Cumberbatch could just spread out episodes further and further, his recent conversation with GQ suggests Sherlock could indeed be coming to an end.
“It might be the end of an era. It feels like the end of an era, to be honest. It goes to a place where it will be pretty hard to follow on immediately. We never say never on the show. I’d love to revisit it, I’d love to keep revisiting it, I stand by that. But in the immediate future, we all have things that we want to crack on with, and we’ve made something very complete as it is, so I think we’ll just wait and see.
“The idea of never playing him again is really galling.”
Sherlock premiered on BBC in 2010, giving short three-episode seasons in 2012 and 2014 before airing a special on New Year’s Day this past January. The next three episodes, which Cumberbatch and co-star Martin Freeman already have filmed, are set to premiere once again on New Year’s Day.
The dry spell between seasons and episodes fall squarely at the feet of both the busy schedules of the actors, and also the show’s writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Both Cumberbatch and Martin have been busy with movie careers (Cumberbatch, of course, is set to appear in Doctor Strange), while Moffat, for example, has remained busy with Doctor Who, despite plans to step down after the upcoming season.
Filming for the most current season was slated to begin in 2015, but once again, schedules got in the way. That pushed filming into 2016, meaning fans would have to wait even longer to get their Sherlock Holmes fix.
Could the fourth season really be it for Cumberbatch? Not according to the lawyers, at least. The Business Times reported in early 2014 that Cumberbatch signed on not just for a fourth season, but a fifth as well. In fact, Moffat at the time told reporters that he and Gatiss mapped those two seasons in the most unexpected way.
“Rather excitingly, Mark and I, for no particular reason, we just got out of the rain and sat at the top of the production bus … and we just started plotting out what we could do in the future. And we plotted out the whole of [seasons] four and five.”
Whether Cumberbatch and crew will indeed return for a fifth season … well, we’ll just just have to look for clues in Season 4. And that starts, at least in the United Kingdom, on Jan. 1.
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