Stephen Fry is Mycroft Holmes in ‘Sherlock Holmes 2′

Published 5 years ago by , Updated July 12th, 2013 at 10:57 am,

Last year’s Sherlock Holmes was a surprisingly entertaining action-adventure vehicle with great performances by both Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. Basically, it was an 80s-esque buddy cop movie set in the Victorian age, like Lethal Weapon meets Pride and Prejudice meets—well, Sherlock Holmes. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Considering Sherlock Holmes 2 is set to be released next Christmas, casting announcements are becoming more and more frequent and today, we’re learning that Stephen Fry (V for Vendetta) is joining the cast.

Earlier in the month, Noomi Rapace (the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoowas cast as the female lead, and now British thespian Stephen Fry has been picked to portray the taller, older, smarter, and sexier—wait, no, scratch that last one—brother of Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes.

While on Danny Baker’s BBC’s 5 Live radio show, Stephen Fry talked Sherlock Holmes 2 (listen to the entire interview):

“I’m playing Mycroft in the sequel to the Sherlock Holmes film Guy Ritchie directed with Robert Downey Jr., and that sort of part is fun, but just once in a while to play a genuine all round sort of lead figure with complexity and tragedy and wit and all the sort of things that Oscar had was a once in a lifeftime thrill.”


Mycroft Holmes, while technically smarter and more deductive by Sherlock’s own admission, is also lazier and less ambitious. He works for the British government in an undefined role and functions, essentially, as a human computer. In The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter, Holmes said of his older brother:

“(Mycroft) has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solutions, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove himself right. Again and again I have taken a problem to him, and have received an explanation which has afterwards proved to be the correct one. And yet he was absolutely incapable of working out the practical points…”

Stephen Fry is perhaps best known in America as Deitrich in V for Vendetta, the narrator in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the voice of the Cheshire Cat in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. He’s also responsible for a lot of voiceover work in videogames, including LittleBigPlanet and Fable 2.

robertdowney judelaw Stephen Fry is Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock Holmes 2

The Sherlock Holmes 2 antagonist role has yet to be filled, that of Sherlock’s arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty. Previously, rumors indicated that both Brad Pitt and Daniel Day-Lewis were up for the much-desired role. Who wouldn’t want to portray one of the most iconic villains in the history of literature?

Sherlock Holmes 2, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Noomi Rapace, begins shooting this fall, which means the casting of Moriarty will likely be announced shortly.

Sources: Danny Baker’s BBC’s 5 Live [via Variety]

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  1. I would have liked to see Hugh Laurie but I am excited for the new movie none the less!

    • that would have been brilliant

    • @acslaterson

      Well, since Laurie and Fry were a famous comedy team, you’ll have at least a connection to Hugh Laurie…sort of a “six degrees of House” through Stephen Fry :)

      • Really? I didn’t know much of his career before “House”, except for that mouse movie he was in. Haha!

        • They met at Cambridge University thirty-odd years ago. Check out Blackadder, Jeeves And Wooster, and A Bit Of Fry And Laurie.

          • Thanks for the suggestions, I will head over to Netflix and look for them.

            • Might be a shock hearing him with an English accent playing a complete dork!

    • I think that Hugh Laurie would be brilliant as Moriarity

  2. Looking forward to seeing how RDJ and Stephen Fry play off each other – both have impeccable comic timing. He and Jude Law have already shared Victorian-age screen time together back in ’97 as, respectively, Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas in the movie Wilde, so no worries there.

    • Just remembered: he was the hapless/hopeless detective in Altman’s Gosford Park as well, appropriately enough.

  3. i cant think of anyone better to play this role he even looks a bit like the pic above

    hope Noomi Repace isnt just there for eye candy she was epic in dragon tattoo

  4. It’s R_a_pace, not Repace.

  5. ok my bad was a typo

  6. Daniel Day!!!!

    • Should’ve won an Oscar for gangs of New York!!!!!!!!

  7. Just a heads up, you have Guy Ritchie in the place where Jude Law should be, I believe, towards the end of the article.

    I saw someone suggest Fry for the role on an IMDB thread, and I thought that was a fabulous idea. Now that it is confirmed, I could not be happier. Hopefully, the casting of Moriarty is next.

  8. Stephen is perfect for this. He has the superior than you voice that would make RDJ look like an idiot which is perfect brotherly drama that can come off that. Plus he’s a pretty good actor like V for Vendetta and Alice in Wonderland.

    • RDJ look like an idiot? I almost laughed there for a second. Even in movies that statement will never be true. Too impossible.

      • I think he meant in terms of the character, hannah!

        • Yes that is what I meant.

  9. Amazing news! Stephen Fry is literally the cleverest man in England.

  10. Didnt he also play a psychiatrist in Bones?

    • Indeed he did, three times I believe, his characters name was Gordon Gordon

  11. Good choice for Mycroft. While I like Brad Pitt, no way is he Moriarty. All I can think of is his hilarious Pikey accent from Snatch. Pitt really shines in comedic roles (even dark ones like Tyler Durden) that I can’t take him seriously as the most dangerous man in Victorian England. Good luck getting DDL. I don’t think that will happen, but if it does, good for Ritchie. I hope they cast someone we’d never think of, but would make sense upon a second thought. Kind of like how we all reacted to RDJ as Tony Stark when that was announced.

  12. Soooo close…

    I had suggested on this very site a little while back that Guy Ritchie make use of the old partnership between Fry and Laurie, with Hugh Laurie for Mycroft and Fry for Moriarty.

    Now that Fry has been plucked for the other of those roles I’ll be privately keeping my fingers tightly crossed that Laurie gets Moriarty. The potential for absolute Arch-chemistry is incredible here.


  13. So that’s where that name came from! I remember watching SeaQuest years ago and there was a villain named Mycroft, played by the same actor that played Tuvok from Star Trek: Voyager. Now I know where he got that name.

    I don’t know why but I keep picturing Johnny Depp in the role of Moriarty, which is strange because I would like to also see Laurie in that role. I would normally say that a Brit should be put in a Brit role but RDJ did such a great job.

  14. they probably won’t use daniel day lewis, unless they have a plan to make a spinoff movie called, “moriarty”.
    lewis is a sceen eater and would easily steal the movie (no insult to rdj)
    he’s just that good…

    • That certainly has never stopped any other movies from hiring great actors to play the villains. Hell, Star Wars? Darth Vadar is far more enjoyable to watch than Luke Skywalker.

  15. Anyone consider Rowan Atkinson as Moriarty? He could do dark and devious to a tee in Blackadder…..just take out the comedy elements and you have yourself a great villian!!

  16. while i kinda enjoyed the downey sherlock holmes movie i still have my problems with it.

    sherlock holmes was a thinker who was ready for action when necessary but holmes stories were not action packed adventures like the downey version.

    • and while holmes wasn`t a vain man he had respect for his appearence and only was not clean shaven when it was for a disquise in a case.he did care about how he dressed and no mention i can remember was in the stories about having bad hygene.

      • I don’t think the movie was a faithful adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but then, for me, that’s not necessarily the mark of a quality movie. Plenty of adaptations are better when they diverge quite a bit from the source material.

  17. Fry as Mycroft is brilliant. Love it. Downey’s Holmes, of course, bears little resemblance to Doyle’s character–rather, a 2009 riff through the prism of the Hollywood action movie. Still, a fun performance & movie. The best authentic Holmes, IMHO, was Jeremy Brett–eccentric, dangerous, wicked sharp until (alas) he became ill in the series’ last years.

  18. Personaly ever since I saw the first movie last year I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed for Alfred Molina as Moriarty. He’s got the look to really play a great foil to RDJ and his acting is absolutely impeccable.

  19. This is wonderful news. Not being too familiar with Stephen Fry, I would not have considered him for the role, but after seeing V for Vendetta and his other credits, I think this will turn out to be a great move.