Josh Rottenberg
September 21, 2009 AT 12:00 PM EDT

With three months still to go before the December 25 release of Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. as Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective, Warner Bros. has begun developing a sequel, according to the Hollywood Reporter, with Brad Pitt in talks to possibly take on the role of Holmes’ arch nemesis, Moriarty. Screenwriters Kieran and Michele Mulroney, who are currently working on a script for Warners’ planned Justice League superhero film, are said to be near a deal to pen the next Holmes installment. Pitt’s possible involvement in the Holmes franchise has been the subject of speculation for months, but, while he has met with the film’s producers, no deal is yet in place. Earlier this summer, audiences at Comic-Con were given a sneak peek at clips from Sherlock Holmes, directed by Guy Ritchie, which promises to give the venerable Baker Street crime fighter a big-budget, action-driven spin.

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