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Sep 23, 2009 at 09:27pm IST

Brad Pitt may feature in Sherlock Holmes 2

New York: Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt has had discussions with the producers of Sherlock Holmes to star in a sequel as the detective's nemesis Moriarty, according to people familiar with the project.

Nothing concrete is in place for Pitt as of now as there are still three months to go until the first picture is released on Christmas Day, reports aceshowbiz.com.

Robert Downey, Jr. plays Holmes in the Warner Brothers project, which has been directed by Guy Ritchie. Jude Law plays Watson, and Rachel McAdams stars as Irene Adler. Much of the talent is expected to return in the new picture, as could Ritchie as the director.

THE NEMESIS: Pitt has been the subject of blog rumours as appearing in several shots of the film as Moriarty.

Pitt has been the subject of a litany of blog rumours as appearing in several shots of Holmes as Moriarty, but those familiar with the script say the character is in shadow and cannot be recognised.

It's increasingly common for a studio to begin developing sequels ahead of a movie's release, enabling a second picture to get into production faster than it normally would, and at a comparatively low cost. Warner Brothers began pushing The Hangover as the movie's pre-release buzz began to grow, though it did not close deals until after the movie had begun raking in box office dollars.

Warner Brothers is keen on developing new franchises, with Holmes with its broad fan base and rich source material considered a very appealing candidate. The project would also mean Downey would star in a second franchise after Iron Man.