For many movie fans under a certain age, Gary Oldman is best known as Harry Potter’s godfather and Batman’s trusted copper. Which is an absolute joke to people who grew up watching Oldman wring every last drop of crazy out of a collection of deranged movie villains. The Professional, The Fifth Element, True Romance, Air Force One, Lost in Space, Murder in the First. I could go on. He was Hollywood’s go-to madman when Dennis Hopper was busy. So I got a tingle when I saw the trailer for The Book of Eli (releases Jan. 15), in which Denzel Washington finds himself in a post-apocalyptic town controlled by Oldman’s ruthless despot. Don’t be fooled by Oldman’s character’s Commissioner Gordon glasses; he’s a grade-A wackjob.
On the Oldman Scale, I’d place his Eli character some place between the dreadlocked pimp in True Romance and the southern-accented space terrorist in The Fifth Element. Welcome back, bats— crazy Gary Oldman. I missed you.
Do you prefer Oldman as an over-the-top outlaw, or a virtuous hero? And what’s your favorite Oldman moment? One of mine has to be his drug-addicted DEA agent in The Professional. Check it out after the jump, EEEVVVERYOOOOONE!