Jared Harris Cast as Moriarty in ‘Sherlock Holmes 2’

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Rumors for the longest time had Brad Pitt as the likely candidate to score the role of lead villain, Moriarty in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes 2. There were even talks of reshoots with Pitt for the first film, which obviously turned out to be null and void as the character remained in the shadows with an uncredited voice actor filling in before a star could be named for the sequel. Well, today a star has been named, but it isn’t a name as big as Pitt’s or the equally rumored Daniel Day-Lewis, though “Mad Men” fans are sure to be delighted.

Jared Harris, according to Latino Review and confirmed by Deadline, will take on the role of Professor James Moriarty, Holmes’s primary villain, in the soon-to-be-shooting sequel, which brings back Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson.

Harris plays Lane Pryce on “Mad Men” and has had roles in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and was most recently cast in Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In follow-up Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. He joins Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace and Stephen Fry in the feature. Fry recently confirmed he would be playing Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s more intelligent brother in Arthur Conan Doyle’s well-known detective novels.

Sherlock Holmes 2 is currently set for a December 16, 2011 release.