After a dodgy sounding rumor appeared in The Daily Mirror earlier this week, Warner Bros. were rather quick to quash it. No, they said – Brad Pitt had not been enlisted to join the cast of Sherlock Holmes. This was taken by many as a full on undermining of all elements of the story, but that was probably a big mistake.
Warning: By necessity, this story is going to contain a fairly big spoiler or two. These aren’t details relating to the main plot of Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock Holmes movie, but you may still feel they ruin some of the film’s surprises for you. Continue carefully, and definitely don’t click after the break unless you don’t mind a big reveal from the last reel being given away.
Since I read the script for Sherlock Holmes, I’ve known that Moriarty would be making a late-in-the-game appearance. He’s only got a small number of lines and not a great deal to do, but it’s still an event not unlike The Joker stepping out of the shadows near the end of a Batman story. His appearance is definitely connected with the big maguffin that drives the story forwards, though I don’t think it would be safe to say he’s a key player. In fact, the Moriarty moment feels half like a wink to Holmes fans (who with this kind of ultra-populist Holmes film may well be in the minority in the audience) and half like a plug for a sequel that might never exist.
MTV has spoken to Guy Ritchie and he’s outright confirmed the appearance of Moriarty in the film. Furthermore, he’s confirmed that there will be no actor credited as being in the role. How curious. This has the MTV team taking the Warners statement as a carefully-worded side step. They’re now questioning whether or not Brad actually will be turning up in the film and seem pretty suspicious that he will be.
Now, the script I have may be out of date but according to the information therein, the rumor from the Mirror’s story doesn’t make sense at all. Most obviously, perhaps, they were talking about the addition of Moriarty to beef up an otherwise lacking film when, actually, Moriarty was part of the plan all along.
I’m thinking that it’s likely to be somebody other than Brad Pitt with the role. Can you really see Pitt being the urbane and cunning villain Moriarty throughout an entire Holmes sequel? It doesn’t wash with me. I’d have thought somebody more like Pitt’s Fight Club alter ego Edward Norton would have been a better choice. Then again, it is a Guy Ritchie movie so who knows what plans they have for reinventing the character?
Or there’s also the possibility (one that I personally doubt) that the Moriarty appearance has been so transfigured he’s not to be played by an actor at all and will be appearing as, perhaps, a series of illustrated Wanted posters or the suchlike. Your guess is as good as mine. You know what these big budget studio machine films are like – rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, soften, dampen, dull.