The question of who would play Sherlock Holmes' famous arch nemesis Professor Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes 2 has been looming large before even the first film came out. Actors rumored in connection to the role included Brad Pitt, Daniel Day Lewis, Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, and Gary Oldman. Now, Latino Review is reporting that an exciting and unexpected actor has gotten the gig: the excellent Jared Harris [Son of Richard Harris].
Harris is best known for his role as Lane Pryce on AMC’s Mad Men. He’s also had recurring roles on The Riches, Fringe, and he most recently costarred in John Carpenter’s The Ward, which played at the Toronto International Film Festival. He’s also signed costarring in Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Our sources confirmed Harris's casting earlier today and also that Sherlock Holmes 2 starts filming next week in London. Last week, we reported that Stephen Fry had signed on to play Sherlock Holmes’ brother Mycroft. Earlier this month, Noomi Rapace [The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo] joined the cast and will play the female lead. Rachel McAdams will return as Irene Adler, but her role will be minimal.
Personally, I am a big fan of Harris. I was not overtly joyous with Guy Richie's original Holmes, Robert Downey Junior is one of my favorite actors but nobody does Holmes as well as Jeremy Brett, and his seven per cent solution. I applaud Ritchie and Warner Bros. for going with an excellent character actor who can embrace the role rather than a movie star who could potentially overshadow it. The casting thus far is impressive but what of the script?
Sherlock Holmes 2 is due out on December 16, 2011.