Gary Oldman may play ''Episode III'' villain. He's in talks to voice the role of General Grievous, the cyborg leader of the Separatist army

By Gary Susman
Updated June 24, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Gary Oldman: Joe Cavaretta/AP

Gary Oldman is the go-to guy for screen villains, and now, it looks like Lucasfilm may have gone to him to cast the role of a much-anticipated villain in ”Star Wars: Episode III.” Oldman’s manager, Douglas Urbanski, confirmed to that Oldman is in talks to voice the role of General Grievous, leader of the Separatist clone armies who are fighting the Jedi-led troops of the galactic Republic in the upcoming movie. (Like Darth Vader, Grievous is a part-mechanical character who wears a prosthetic mask, making it possible for George Lucas to have already shot his scenes and to add the voice later.) Lucasfilm spokesperson Lynne Hale declined to comment on the possible casting, telling it was only a rumor ”at this point.” But Urbanski said that Oldman would play the role ”if he can find the time,” noting that the actor still has to finish filming ”Batman Begins” (in which he plays Jim Gordon, Batman’s friend on the Gotham City police force). Plus, he’s due to film ”The Longest Yard” opposite Adam Sandler later this year, which will see him playing a prison warden. Meanwhile, Lucas is in post-production on ”Episode III,” which is scheduled for release next May.