Paramount isn't doing anything this summer. They've pretty much taken the season off, moving most of their 2012 tentpoles to next year or maybe even beyond that. And so they were sitting around and they had a chance to look out at the world and to see what was popular. And they said, 'Man, people are really into Sherlock Holmes right now. Robert Downey Jr has a franchise going, there's this well-received BBC series, and even CBS is getting into the game. This doesn't seem oversaturated at all. And look, we have the rights to the 1985 film Young Sherlock Holmes. People love prequels!'
So they contacted Chris Columbus and asked him to 'steer' a remake of that film. Columbus, of course, is now the go-to guy for your kid franchises featuring the protagonist's name in the title (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson). And he's the guy who wrote the original film in the first place. Maybe they can get Barry Levinson back to direct and just call it a mulligan.
Will anybody still care about Sherlock Holmes by the time this happens? I imagine we'll get a third RDJ Holmes movie, and another season of the BBC show, but once American TV is in on it it's usually over. Maybe Paramount can make the film then keep delaying it until it's fresh again.