British Tabloid Rumor: Brad Pitt To Play Moriarty In Sherlock Holmes?

Is Brad Pitt secretly filming a part in Guy Ritchie's upcoming adaptation of Sherlock Holmes? According to the not-to-be-trusted British Tabloids, Pitt will be playing the detective's arch enemy Moriarty. The Daily Mirror claims that 10 extra days of filming have been ordered to shoot Pitt's scenes. And while I'd normally call "bullshit" on such a story, some (but not all) of the facts do add up.

The paper reports:

"Filming with Brad is due to start this week in London and on location at Cliveden House – the venue beside the Thames at Berkshire is the backdrop for Moriarty's home." .. ""Brad is expected to be filming all over London. Cliveden House has been earmarked as a location for Moriarty's home. There will be scenes shot at Royal Victoria Dock, Pontoon Docks, Pinewood and Chatham Docks in Kent. And they will be using clips around City of London to set the scene."

Moriarty was featured in an early screenplay draft that I've skimmed, but the character is only briefly featured, and near the end. Basically the appearance was just a fun way of setting up a possible sequel. Strangely, we've never learned which actor would occupy the cameo role, and I had just assumed that the cameo had been cut from the shooting script.

While I tend to never believe the stories from British tabloids, especially when they contain lines like "our source tells us", it does make sense that Warner Bros would want a major star for the part, as he would likely be the major villain for the second film Pitt has a prior relationship with Ritchie, having starred in Snatch, so it is possible. But would they really add ten days of shooting on for a small cameo? I seriously doubt it.

Update: Warner Bros has issued a statement to MTV:

"The report in today's London Mirror is completely inaccurate. Brad Pitt is not joining the cast of Sherlock Holmes and we're extremely pleased with the production of the film. As planned, it will be released on Christmas Day, 2009. In order to complete the movie, we've scheduled a few days on set to shoot a couple of additional scenes, obtain pick-up shots, and perfect some of the visual effects elements, all of which is standard filmmaking practice."

The interesting thing about the statement is that they do confirm the fact that they've now scheduled a few days of additional photography for the film, but deny the rumor that Brad Pitt is joining the cast.