Why Mycroft's Absence From Enola Holmes 2 Is A Secret Blessing To Director Harry Bradbeer

Like his brother Sherlock, no two versions of Mycroft Holmes are exactly the same, though there are certain qualities that tend to carry over from one iteration to the next. Mycroft is typically as good if not better than his sibling at the art of deduction, but uses his skills very differently. With Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock, Stephen Fry's take on Mycroft in Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" films is a rather eccentric fellow (the kind who strolls around his home naked on a whim). Mark Gatiss, on the other hand, portrays Mycroft as a cold and detached Cabinet official tasked with keeping his borderline sociopathic brother in line on the series "Sherlock."

Likewise, in "Enola Holmes," Mycroft (Sam Claflin) is as tightly-wounded as his mustache is neatly trimmed. He doesn't care at all for his younger sister Enola's (Millie Bobby Brown) independent attitude and insists she attend a finishing school for teen girls after their mother abruptly vanishes. By the end of the film, his far more laid-back brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill) agrees to serve as Enola's guardian in Mycroft's place. Is that why Claflin didn't return for the fast-approaching sequel, "Enola Homes 2"?

Harry Bradbeer, who's back at the helm for the sequel after directing Enola's first screen outing, shed some light on the matter in a recent interview with Collider. Claflin, it turns out, was merely a little too busy with other projects by the time "Enola Holmes 2" was slated to begin filming to reprise his role. "We were very sorry that Sam couldn't be in this one," Bradbeer explained, adding that if "Enola Holmes 3" were to happen "we would love to have him back. But that was just the practicalities of life." 

Fortunately, there was an upside to the situation.

More room for Sherlock

While Sherlock was very much a supporting player in "Enola Homes," the sequel will see him working side-by-side with his sister as they try and solve the same mystery. With Mycroft out of the picture, "That then meant though that we had to then concentrate on Sherlock, which has some advantages in the sense and that it becomes a sharp pencil if you like," Bradbeer told Collider. " You're just having to work with that particular relationship. It had to be about Sherlock and Enola and coming together. So I guess there is some blessings in having less pieces because you can do more with what you have."

In an interview with /Film's Jenna Busch, Cavill similarly voiced his appreciation for the way "Enola Holmes 2" allowed him to explore the softer side of his world-famous detective. While the Sherlock in the "Enola Holmes" universe is kinder and more empathetic than most other iterations (most pointedly that of Benedict Cumberbatch's super-sleuth from "Sherlock"), he's still Sherlock Holmes and can't help but be a little prickly to the outside world. That changes when Enola is around him, as Cavill explained to us:

"Sherlock's forward-facing [persona] to the world in this is still the same as [in] other mediums, but when it comes to Enola, she has a route through the armor, through the frosty exterior. That's what makes this story slightly unique. It's about Enola, and it's about Sherlock supporting her story. So to add that warmth is key."

Perhaps Claflin will, by the same token, add a few more wrinkles to his uptight, old-school chauvinist portrayal of Mycroft down the line. Until then, you can check out the continuing adventures of Enola and Sherlock when "Enola Holmes 2" begins streaming on Netflix on November 4, 2022.