Brad Pitt has officially missed out on playing Sherlock’s nemesis Moriarty in
Sherlock Holmes 2
’s Jared Harris has bagged the role instead.
Professor James Moriarty is Holmes' arch nemesis, whom Holmes himself refers to in the novels as the “Napoleon of crime”. In Arthur Conan Doyle’s original books, he first appears as a Mafia-esque Godfather to London crime - something that director Guy Ritchie will no doubt stick to with his sequel.
Beating out rumoured A-list competition from Pitt, Daniel Day Lewis, Sean Penn and Gary Oldman, Harris will join Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law for the fast-tracked follow-up.
Harris is best known as the plummy Brit in TV’s excellent Mad Men , and will next be seen in John Carpenter’s horror comeback The Ward . He’s also co-starring in Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy for Tomas Alfredson.
Stephen Fry was the latest joinee for the sequel, having signed on to play Holmes’ older brother Mycroft, while the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo herself Noomi Rapace is the follow-up's female lead. Rachel McAdams will return in a diminished role.
Sherlock Holmes 2 will be sleuthing into cinemas on 16 December, 2011.