For Gary Oldman, the past decade has been perhaps the most important of his career. Not only did he nab an Oscar nomination for his role in last year’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but supporting roles in several Harry Potter installments, as well as the Christopher Nolan Batman films (including the upcoming finale, The Dark Knight Rises), have made him one of the highest-grossing actors in history.
Oldman looks poised to continue his recent string of successes after the announcement that he will co-star in the 2013 remake of the sci-fi classic, Robocop.
According to THR, MGM’s upcoming Robocop reboot will feature Oldman in one of the film’s more nuanced roles. As the scientist Norton, he must grapple with the ethical implications of his titular creation. Details are few and far between, but at this point, Norton’s moral alignment seems ambiguous, suggesting he won’t fit neatly into the mold of a hero OR villain. It’s also unclear how closely this remake will follow the plot of the original Robocop film.
If this new version is faithful, there’s a good chance that Oldman’s character will have ties to the shady mega-corporation “Omni Consumer Products (OCP),” or some similar entity. In any case, Oldman is amply qualified, and stands poised to deliver another scene-stealing performance (and perhaps chew some scenery while he’s at it), provided the script is worthy of his talent.
Jose Padilha, a Brazilian director best-known for the action/crime thrillers The Elite Squad and Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within, is set to direct Robocop. Though not particularly well-known in the States, his films have been hugely successful in his home country, so he must know a thing or two about action. Joel Kinnaman seems an exceedingly odd choice to play the new Robocop, despite displaying considerable talent on the AMC crime drama The Killing. It’s probably best to reserve judgment until we catch a glimpse of him in full cyborg form.
Oldman cultivated a reputation as a formidable character actor with memorable performances in films such as Sid And Nancy, The Fifth Element, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. His frequent portrayals of eccentric villains (including Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK) – often critically lauded - established him as a top-tier movie antagonist within Hollywood. Unfortunately, this began to limit the number of roles offered to him. Typecast as a “bad guy,” Oldman found himself stuck in a career rut during the early 2000s, until he returned to mainstream cinema with a vengeance, thanks largely to important supporting roles such as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), and James Gordon in Batman Begins (2005). Both characters afforded Oldman the opportunity to play good guys, for a change, and showcase his impressive range as an actor.
Robocop is tentatively scheduled for release in summer 2013.