Gary Oldman in Talks for Revenge Thriller Motor City
02.03.12 by BJSprecher
For years, actor Gary Oldman was the go-to guy for movie villainy, turning in memorable performances in Bram Stoker's Dracula (creep-adelic Count Dracula), True Romance (skeevy pimp Drexl Spivey), and The Professional (psycho cop Norman Stansfield). After a brief hiatus from acting in the early '00s, Oldman returned as a kinder, gentler version of himself, taking on good guy roles in major movie franchises like the Harry Potter series (Harry's godfather, Sirius Black) and Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy (Bat-buddy James Gordon).
Now that Oldman has finally received an Academy Award nomination for the good-guy role of MI6 agent George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, it looks like he's ready to return to the dark side. According to THR, Oldman is in "final negotiations" to play the villain in Albert Hughes' new revenge thriller, Motor City.
Written by up-and-coming screenwriter Chad St. John, who first caught the eye of Hollywood producers in 2009 when two of his scripts — The Days Before and Motor City — made the Black List, the movie stars Dominic Cooper (The Devil's Double) as a small-time crook who is framed and sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. When he is released, he goes off in search of the "kingpin-type" who set him up and stole his woman (Amber Heard, The Rum Diary). Assuming Oldman commits, he'll be playing the target of Cooper's revenge.
If the plot sounds pretty pedestrian, consider this: The script was only 75 pages long and contained almost no dialogue! According to St. John, he didn't set out to write a "silent" revenge movie — he was challenged to do so by Warner Bros. exec Greg Silverman.
Honestly, it wasn't my idea. Greg Silverman over at Warner Bros., one all around bad ass dude, tossed that one my way. After they bought Days and I had rewritten it based on their notes, Greg offered me a two script blind deal. I was definitely salivating for the chance, but I really wasn't keen on the blind aspect of it. I wanted to have at least one of the scripts spelled out before I said yes. I thought it was crucial to follow Days with something just as unique. So, Greg throws this idea at me. Then, he says the magic words..."and there's no dialogue." A "silent" revenge movie.
I said yes before he finished the sentence. The artist in me leapt at the chance. Beside, when the hell is another Exec this far up the food chain in a studio going to ask me to write a "silent" movie? I was all over it. It was audacious and ballsy. Of course, then I spent a week banging my head into a desk in front of my computer thinking, "What the hell have I done?"
Motor City is being produced by Joel Silver and Andrew Rona. It is expected to go into production in Berlin in April.