According to Deadline, Benedict Cumberbatch told GQ UK, rather unambiguously, that his BBC series Sherlock has likely come to a conclusion:
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.
If true, it’s doubly damning, as Sherlock would be imperiled by narrative closure, and not just Cumberbatch’s ongoing sequestration by Marvel Studios. With Doctor Strange set to hit theaters November 4, the upcoming pair of Avengers movies, and potential Strange sequels, Marvel will probably keep the actor busy well into the next presidential election.
While there’s a chance for a reunion between Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, it’s probably more likely to happen in the form of Freeman’s State Department Bureaucrat Everett Ross sharing a scene with Dr. Stephen Strange. And yes, presumably one them would then have regard the discovery of one of the Infinity Stones as “elementary” right before the Hulk smashes it or something.
On the other hand, the short and staggered seasons has allowed the show to work around its talent, and co-creator Steven Moffat has seemed more hopeful, saying at one point that he’d be “mildly surprised” if the odd, oddly observant detective wouldn’t be back for a season five. And it could be that Cumberbatch is simply heightening the stakes (and anticipation) for Sherlock, which is set to return sometime in 2017.
So while the fate of Sherlock isn’t completely sealed, it certainly doesn’t sound good. And the most damning voice in the conversation may be that of Sherlock Holmes himself, in the season four trailer. When Benedict Cumberbatch’s disembodied voice tells you that ”something is coming,” it’s time to pack up your tweeds and get the hell out of England.