Gary Oldman Confirms Tinker, Tailor, Sailor, Spy Sequel Plans; "Retires" From Batman Movies
Posted 12.01.11 by Ryan
Gary Oldman recently admitted that he's "waited 30 years to play" a character like semi-retired British intelligence agent George Smiley in the upcoming thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which may have come as a surprise to those that have enjoyed his other, more frenetic, roles. "It's a different animal to, say, Sirius Black [in the Harry Potter movies]," Oldman told The Playlist after his career tribute at the Gotham Awards. "Or even Drexl in True Romance, which was a kind of fairy tale. I hope I wasn't over-the-top as Lee Harvey Oswald [in JFK]! But it's been a long time since I've played someone like that, and Smiley's the one to do it with."
Based on the 1974 novel by John le Carré, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is already a success in Britain, where it opened at the top of the box office in the U.K. in September. Director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) and screenwriter Peter Straughan have already revealed that a sequel to Tinker is possible, and would likely be based on le Carré's third book featuring the character of Smiley, titled Smiley's People. Oldman confirmed that the possible sequel would be based on the book and not The Honourable Schoolboy, the second novel in the Karla trilogy, where Smiley is in a more supporting role.
They're now saying they might do Smiley's People. It's a very different story, very different to Tinker Tailor. We don't want it to feel like a sequel, you know, because it stands on its own, but we've sort of established this world, and there's enough material to do more films.
Asked whether Oldman was ready to play Smiley in adaptations of every novel le Carré wrote featuring the character, the actor was quick to caution that a Tinker sequel still depends on its box office success in the U.S..
I don't know if I would do all five of them! But we'll see. There's no guarantee we're going to do any of them. It's all up in the air [based on U.S. box office]. On the Thursday night prior to the open in the U.K., none of us knew if it would make a dollar, and it surprised everyone there by staying number one for weeks. And so I think the people have spoken there — they kind of want one more, at least. I don't want to curse anything, but we're getting the sense that there can be a wave of them, because the material supports it. And certainly, the more you look at the material, the more you dig, the better it gets. It only got richer. It never got boring. So I would love to play him again.
Oldman's willingness to play Smiley is in contrast with the character of Commissioner Jim Gordon from the Batman movies. Oldman says that the upcoming sequel The Dark Knight Rises "is my last," adding, "I've retired Jim Gordon." Christian Bale and director Christopher Nolan have both claimed that the sequel will be their last as well.
Oldman also spoke of Gordon's "retirement" prior to the Gotham Awards during an interview with MTV and sporting a newly clean-shaven face.
The Gordon mustache is retired. They gave me a shadow box, and it has my badge, my glasses and the mustache. He is retired.
As Nolan recently revealed, The Dark Knight Rises takes place "eight years" after the events of The Dark Knight Rises, and Oldman says that means that Gordon will seem a little familiar.
He's a little reminiscent of the Gordon you see in Batman Begins. They've tidied up the city, but there's still work to be done. He's very world-weary.
While we're sure that The Dark Knight Rises will be a big hit when it opens on July 20, 2012, we'll wait to see what happens when Tinker, Tailor, Sailor, Spy opens on December 9th. It's always good to see Oldman in an iconic role.