For decades, Gary Oldman has demonstrated his knack for drastically changing his appearance and mannerisms to suit the character he's playing in any given film. From drug-dealing pimp Drexl Spivey in True Romance to Count Dracula himself in Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel, Oldman has been widely acclaimed for his chameleon-like transformations.
Now, Oldman is looking to add another radically different role to his accomplished career: director. Currently, the actor's only directorial feature credit is the 1997 British release Nil by Mouth, which starred Ray Winstone as an abusive husband. This time, however, it looks like Oldman has his sights set on a more ambitious project.
According to The Wrap, Oldman plans to direct Flying Horse, a biopic of photographer Eadweard Muybridge. He hopes to cast former co-stars Ralph Fiennes and Benedict Cumberbatch in the leads. The two actors shared the screen with Oldman in the Harry Potter films and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, respectively.
Fiennes would star as Muybridge – whose innovations helped foster the growth of motion image capturing – while Cumberbatch would play Harry Larkyns, a theater critic whom Muybridge ultimately killed in 1874 for having an affair with his wife. Oldman himself may also take on a supporting role as Dennis Spencer, the district attorney that prosecuted Muybridge.
It's worth noting that the film – which Oldman also wrote – has yet to make any official announcement regarding casting and is still firming up its financing. However, it seems likely that Fiennes and Cumberbatch will sign on, provided that they can fit the project into their already-packed schedules. Cumberbatch, of course, recently signed on to star in Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak. Both that film and Flying Horse are aiming to start production in early 2014.
Although Oldman is still relatively unexperienced behind the camera, the film sounds as if it will give Oldman plenty of juicy material to work with regarding an intensely personal, scandalous period in the life of an acclaimed artist. Landing performers as gifted as Fiennes and Cumberbatch will only solidify the chances for Flying Horse to be something truly worthwhile.
The film also marks a nice change of pace for Oldman, as the independent release and historical subject matter starkly contrast his recent roles in Hollywood films like The Dark Knight Rises. He's also set to appear in the Robocop remake and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes next year.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest on Flying Horse as it nears production.
Source: The Wrap