Gary Oldman finally has his Oscar nomination. After a career of missing out, the actor last week deservedly received a nod for his chameleonic performance as George Smiley in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” finally giving recognition to one of the industry’s most versatile performers. But ever since ‘Tinker’ bowed in Venice back in September, many have wondered — what would be next for the actor? He’ll be seen later this year in “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Wettest County,” two of the most anticipated releases of the year, but hadn’t yet taken a role in anything to capitalize on his newfound heat, despite offers being dangled for (now-cancelled) studio tentpoles “Akira“ and “Arthur & Lancelot.”
Well, it looks like Oldman’s picked his next project, and it won’t surprise many who’ve followed his career that he’s going to be playing a bad guy. Heat Vision reports that the actor is in the final stages of talks to play the villain in “Motor City,” a crime thriller from “Menace II Society” co-director Albert Hughes (not to be confused with “Broken City,” the neo-noir that his brother Allen Hughes is currently filming with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe).
The project, penned by rising scribe Chad St. John, made the Black List a few years back; a revenge tale of a low-level criminal (one who reportedly only has a single line in the script), who is framed and sent down, only to seek revenge years later to save his one-time love. After Chris Evans flirted with the part, Dominic Cooper landed the lead role on the strength of his turn in last year’s Sundance hit “The Devil’s Double,” while Amber Heard joined not long after as his lady love. Oldman will play a crime boss with influence over Heard’s character.
It’s a little dispiriting to see Oldman back in “The Fifth Element“/”Air Force One” mode so soon, but not entirely surprising, seeing as last time he was on villain duties, it was for Hughes and his brother Allen on post-apocalyptic actioner “The Book Of Eli“; clearly a good relationship was forged on that project. And on the bright side, Oldman’s bad guys are always entertaining, and hopefully he’ll find something meaty to play with here. Joel Silver and Andrew Rona are producing through their Dark Castle genre imprint, Warner Brothers will release the project, and filming will get underway in Berlin in April.