Rhys Ifans is the latest British star to join the cast of US Sherlock Homes update Elementary, as the detective's older brother Mycroft.
The Welsh actor will appear in the first episode of the upcoming second series, which sees the detective and his partner Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) travel to London to take up an old case. The story will film on location in the capital in early July and will see Sherlock and Joan staying at Mycroft's rooms at 221B Baker Street, Holmes and Watson's home in the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories.
Ifans, known for movie roles ranging from lascivious slob Spike in Notting Hill to scientist-turned-lizard-man Dr Curt Connors in The Amazing Spider-Man, is the latest in a string of respected British actors to take a turn in the CBS drama series, which airs in the UK on Sky Living.
He follows Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer – who took on the dual role of Holmes’s arch-nemesis Moriarty and his love interest Irene Adler – Vinnie Jones, who played Moriarty's henchman Sebastian Moran, John Hannah, who made a guest appearance as the detective's former drug dealer, and of course Jonny Lee Miller, who stars as the detective himself.
Ifans will play the character portrayed in BBC1's own Holmes update, Sherlock, by Mark Gatiss. In that series, as in the original stories, Mycroft is a shadowy figure at the heart of Whitehall intrigue. Whether that will be the case in Elementary's take is yet to be revealed but the show's creator Robert Doherty said he and the cast were looking forward to working with Ifans.
"I could not be more excited to have Rhys coming aboard," said Doherty. "I've always been a tremendous fan and feel very honoured to have him in the fold.
"Equally excited are Jonny and Lucy, both of whom have worked with Rhys in feature films. I think this is going to be a lot of fun for all of us."
Ifans starred with Miller in crime caper Love, Honour & Obey and with Liu in little-known 2001 film Hotel.
Series two of Elementary begins on CBS in America on 26 September and is expected to air on Sky Living around a fortnight later.