'Sherlock' Showrunner Had to "Persuade" Benedict Cumberbatch to Return to Hit Show

Ahead of the first-ever Sherlocked fan convention in London, Steven Moffat admits it’s getting harder to bring the show’s stars back.

With Benedict Cumberbatch having gone from fresh-faced British TV curiosity to Hollywood's A-list in the five years since BBC hit drama Sherlock first aired in 2010, the series’ co-creator and showrunner Steven Moffat has revealed that it’s getting more difficult to lure the actor back to 221B Baker Street.

“They don’t need Sherlock anymore,” Moffat told BBC News, speaking of both Cumberbatch and "Doctor Watson" Martin Freeman, who has also gone on to find huge success with The Hobbit trilogy and Fargo. "So we have to persuade them to do it – which is fair enough."

Moffat – who is also the showrunner for Doctor Who – claimed that he didn’t even expect Sherlock, due to return this Christmas for a Victorian-era special, to go on further than the last season.

“I didn’t think we actually thought we’d get a fourth [season] out of them,” he said, although adding that both stars were “very serious” about the show. “They do love it very much.”

Moffat and Cumberbatch are both set to appear and speak at the first-ever Sherlocked, a Sherlock fan convention at London’s ExCel Centre that kicks off Friday and runs until Sunday. Co-creator Mark Gatiss (who also plays Sherlock’s brother Mycroft) is also attending alongside Moriarty himself, Andrew Scott, and several other cast and crew members.

Among the various pricing options for Sherlocked guests, which range from $44 for a one-day ticket right up to $900 for a "Platinum Event Package," is a group photo shot with Cumberbatch, Scott and Gatiss, alongside Una Stubbs (Mrs Hudson), Rupert Graves (Inspector Lestrade) and Louise Brealey (Molly Hooper) for the princely sum of $295.