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Image caption The first film in the trilogy has been on the big screen for six years

The makers of the cult TV show Sherlock have decided to make its follow-up, which has been in development for more than nine years, a full-length film.

The BBC and ITV hope the final film will be in cinemas before Christmas.

The makers of the BBC drama said last month there could be “a whole lot more to Sherlock” after the third and second films.

Sherlock Holmes, meanwhile, was released last May, and is now in its fifth season.

It won 11 Emmy awards and was screened in more than 90 countries after being adapted from the best-selling novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The BBC said Sherlock: A Game of Shadows was not based on any “original ideas which are now lost to the ages”, but took the best “tutorials – from the classics to today’s latest sci-fi technologies” and “transmuted them into cinematic art”.

‘Worth a watch’

Image caption The first film was released in July 2001 – a year after the first film in the series came out

Sherlock Holmes has had at least four films and an animated TV series running in the UK since the 2002 series.

In October 2002, it was also announced the drama was to be taken over by ITV, but it has now been officially renamed Sherlock.

The announcement was made after the BBC’s Director of Television, Chris Chibnall, told the Screen Writers’ Guild Awards in London earlier on Tuesday that there could be “a whole lot more to Sherlock” due to the successful first film.

Sherlock: A Game of Shadows will run to an expected 18 episodes, and will be directed by Simon Pegg.

The BBC said the story would revolve around how the detective is trying to stop Sherlock’s nemesis, Moriarty, and how he falls from “his hero dream into the shadows”.

The BBC also said it would focus on John and his family and friends in London during Christmas and New Year.

“All told they will travel the UK – as often as in a film – in the last years of the 20th Century,” the programme announced.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the stories Sherlock Holmes was based on in 1884, and it is his own work that is being adapted for the big screen

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