'Mad Men's' Jared Harris joins 'Sherlock 2'

Actor to portray classic literary villain Moriarty

Jared Harris, who is perhaps best known for his current role as Lane Pryce on AMC's "Mad Men," will portray classic literary villain Moriarty in Warner Bros.' "Sherlock Holmes 2."

Latino Review unearthed the exclusive on Moriarty, whose character in the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a criminal mastermind and surreptitiously oversees a criminal empire.

Harris is almost on the opposite spectrum of who the studio had initially been eying as Moriarty, with Brad Pitt, Daniel Day Lewis and Sean Penn on the short list.

"Holmes 2" is now in full blown casting mode, with Harris boarding days after fellow Brit actor Stephen Fry came on as Holmes' brother Mycroft Holmes, and a couple of weeks after Noomi Rapace, the Swedish star of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," signed on as the female lead.

Robert Downey Jr. is returning as Holmes and Jude Law is reprising Dr. Watson in the pic, which is scheduled to be released December 16, 2011. Guy Ritchie is back as director while Joel Silver, Susan Downey, Lionel Wigram and Dan Lin return as producers.

In addition to "Mad Men," Harris appeared in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Extraordinary Measure," and had a run on TV's Fringe.

He is repped by Paradigm, Gateway Management, and UK's Independent Talent Group.