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Why is Mycroft not in Enola Holmes 2?

The recently released Netflix film Enola Holmes 2 sees the return of Millie Bobby Brown as the titular character Enola Holmes. Based on the young adult fiction novels by Nancy Springer, the sequel follows Enola as she attempts to step out of the shadow of her older brother, the famous detective Sherlock Holmes played by Henry Cavill.

Fans of the first film may notice one key character from the original stories who is missing from the new movie – Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock and Enola’s eldest brother. Mycroft, who serves an important role in the books, is completely absent from the sequel. This has led many viewers to ask: Why is Mycroft not in Enola Holmes 2?

Who is Mycroft Holmes?

In both the Enola Holmes book series and the 2020 film adaptation, Mycroft Holmes is the eldest of the three Holmes siblings. Often described as the smartest of the brothers, though lacking in ambition, Mycroft holds a position in the British government providing him access to key information and resources.

In the first Enola Holmes film, Mycroft is played by Sam Claflin. He acts as Enola’s legal guardian following the disappearance of their mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter). Mycroft wishes to send Enola to a finishing school to learn to be a proper lady, against her adventurous nature. This leads to conflict between the siblings and sets up Enola’s motivations to avoid Mycroft and prove herself as a detective.

Mycroft fulfills an important role in Enola’s story in the first film, providing a family connection and representing the restrictions placed on women in 19th century England that Enola fights against. His absence in the sequel is quite conspicuous.

Why is Mycroft Holmes Not in Enola Holmes 2?

There are a few possible explanations for why Mycroft does not appear in Enola Holmes 2:

1. Scheduling conflicts with the actor

The most practical reason for Mycroft’s absence is likely scheduling issues with actor Sam Claflin. Claflin has been quite busy with other projects, including starring in the 2022 adaptation of Daisy Jones and The Six. With Enola Holmes 2 filming in 2021, it may simply have been impossible to coordinate Claflin’s schedule. Recasting the role could have also been seen as undesirable.

2. Keeping the focus on Enola

Enola Holmes 2 seems intent on depicting Enola stepping further out of the shadow of her famous brother to solve her own mystery. Whereas the first film leaned heavily on the Holmes family dynamic, the sequel minimizes Sherlock’s involvement to keep the spotlight firmly on Enola. With this shift in focus, there may have been less of a natural storyline to involve Mycroft in. His presence could have pulled focus back onto the wider Holmes family.

3. Showing Enola’s independence

With Enola striking out more independently, the filmmakers may have wanted to show her free from any family oversight. Now that she has escaped Mycroft’s guardianship, she no longer needs to keep eluding his control or living under his watch. Removing Mycroft streamlines the storyline to focus just on Enola’s own adventures.

4. Opening up new sequel possibilities

While Mycroft is absent from this film, the character could easily return in potential future sequels. The writers may have wanted to leave the door open for Mycroft to reappear down the line if Sam Claflin’s schedule allows for it. Keeping the character off-screen but still alive leaves that narrative possibility open.

The Impact of Mycroft’s Absence

Regardless of the production reasons behind it, Mycroft’s absence from Enola Holmes 2 has some important impacts on the film:

Less family drama

With Mycroft not trying to control Enola’s fate, there is less Holmes family tension or sibling conflict at play. The story becomes more streamlined as a result.

Enola stands on her own

Mycroft not being present allows Enola to fully come into her own as an independent protagonist, living on her own terms away from her brothers’ influence.

A focus on the central mystery

Rather than get caught up in familial dynamics, the lack of Mycroft enables the film to devote more time to developing the central mystery around the disappearance of a young girl that Enola sets out to solve.

Sherlock as sole family link

With only brief cameos from Sherlock, their mother Eudoria is Enola’s sole remaining on-screen family connection. This isolation helps reinforce her independence.

Opens up sequel possibilities

Leaving Mycroft’s fate ambiguous allows the filmmakers to easily bring him back in potential future sequels as Enola’s adventures continue.

The Future of Mycroft in the Enola Holmes Series

While Mycroft sits out this second adventure, the door remains open for the character to return in possible future Enola Holmes installments. Here is an assessment of the likelihood of Mycroft coming back:

Sherlock Holmes 3

A third Sherlock Holmes film starring Henry Cavill seems likely following the success of the first two installments. Mycroft could certainly factor into this film in a significant way, potentially setting up events that impact Enola.

Enola Holmes 3

A third Enola Holmes film has yet to be confirmed, but seems probable. Mycroft’s return would depend on Sam Claflin’s availability. But the character fits naturally into Enola’s ongoing story.

Enola Holmes Netflix series

With Netflix moving more into TV series, an Enola Holmes show could provide more flexibility for Mycroft to return when Sam Claflin’s schedule permits.

Further adventures in books

Author Nancy Springer or other writers could reintroduce Mycroft in future Enola Holmes books, potentially inspiring his return to the movies.


Mycroft Holmes sits out the action in Enola Holmes 2, despite his importance in the first film and book series. Logistical factors like scheduling likely prompted his absence, along with a desire to focus the sequel more centrally on Enola. Removing Mycroft enables her to stand as an independent protagonist on her own exciting adventures.

The character could certainly return in future installments, whether in Sherlock Holmes 3, a third Enola movie, or potentially a Netflix series. Mycroft remains an important part of the Holmes family dynamic in the books. As Enola’s story continues, it seems likely viewers have not seen the last of Mycroft on screen. But for now, Enola Holmes 2 capably tells an engaging mystery without the need for her eldest brother’s presence.