As his eclectic filmography and widely diverse history of characters has provided more than enough evidence to support, Gary Oldman could play pretty much any type of person you could throw at him. The 62-year-old actor possesses the kind of talent most people in his profession spend their entire lives struggling to perfect. Not to mention, someone of his incomparable range would be of great benefit to the Marvel movies, especially given his previous experience with comic book characters.
Years after playing Gotham City detective turned lieutenant turned commissioner Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, the Academy Award-winning Brit once expressed interest in having a tase what life what is like in another other comic book movie universe. However, to this day, Gary Oldman still has yet to receive a call from Marvel, which is surprising when you consider, not only the number of characters the Marvel Cinematic Universe has yet to introduce, but also how many of those very names the actor could totally nail on screen.
Of course, there is only so much time we can dedicate to imagining the best potential comic book movie roles for any single actor. Therefore, in the special case for Gary Oldman, we have narrowed down our selection of perfectly suited Marvel characters to just the top seven, starting with one whose best known ability is one that the actor has been praised for possessing as well.
From Drexl Spivey in True Romance to Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, Gary Oldman has been hiding from audiences in plain sight for decades by completely becoming a new person onscreen, much like Dmitri Smerdyakov (better known as the Chameleon) does to blend in when committing crimes. Oldman would probably not need much more than a little makeup to pull off the Spider-Man villain, or his various disguises, before taking care of the rest himself. Besides, we already know from Air Force One that he can fake a flawless Russian accent.
However, if there is one villain fans are dying to see Tom Holland face off against in the near future, it is more likely Green Goblin - a fearsome creaturesque terrorist who emerges from the demented split personality of vengeful industrialist Norman Osborn, whose son Harry is a good friend of Peter Parker. The key to playing Gobby is to make a distinct switch from “mild mannered gentleman” to “sadistic psychopath” at the turn of a dime (as Willem Dafoe managed quite exquisitely in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man) and I think we have made it clear enough already that Gary Oldman is the reigning master of that particular art.
On the other hand, you do have to wonder if there is ever a moment when Gary Oldman would like to break from these drastic character transformations and just play another Englishmen for once. He could actually have that slice of cake and eat it too with a few notable U.K.-based Marvel characters, such as Union Jack - a superb athlete of peak human strength, speed, and endurance who fights evil in his homeland in the United Kingdom. In the instance that the MCU would be more interested in casting someone younger as Joseph Chapman (the man under the mask), Oldman would at least be a great choice to play his predecessor, James Montgomery Falsworth.
Fortunately, that brings to mind another British Marvel character who is traditionally depicted as an older man, but whose expertise in ancient magic ritual makes him a force to be reckoned with. Harvard psychology graduate Anthony Ludgate’s commitment to learning the mystical practices of the occult eventually put him on the path to becoming a supernatural monster hunter who goes Doctor Druid, who just recently teamed up with Doctor Strange in a long-awaited comic book crossover. That pairing sounds like a perfect opportunity for Gary Oldman and his Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy co-star Benedict Cumberbatch to reunite.
One character whom the casual comic book movie audience member may assume to be British is Charles Xavier, which is understandable considering previous cinematic portrayals by UK actors Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy. Yet, in the comics, the telepathic X-Men founder was born in New York, which, in addition to playing mentor to a team of young crimefighters, would be of no issue for Gary Oldman. In fact, he might especially get a kick out of going bald for the role, whenever Marvel Studios chooses to bring Professor X and the rest of his mutant crew into their universe, that is.
Still, it is a challenge when thinking of suitable Marvel characters for Gary Oldman and not imagining all the great villains he could be. Not to mention, he might get an especially big kick out of the makeup that it would require to turn him into Mephisto, an extra-dimensional demon who is often thought of as the Satan of the Marvel Universe for how dangerously powerful and mischievous he is. It is the kind of role that any actor who relishes in playing a baddie would kill for and someone like Oldman might just have to casually suggest in order to land, but there is another one who would be a special treat for the audience if he played it.
With the casting of Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali in the MCU’s Blade reboot and Jared Leto in the anti-heroic title role of Sony’s upcoming Morbius, vampires are starting to become a hotly trending topic in the comic book movie genre (and movies and TV in general) again. Thus, we have here a wonderful opportunity to bring back into the mix the most famous bloodsucker in history, Count Dracula, whom Gary Oldman once portrayed beautifully in director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s timeless horror novel.
I cannot even begin to imagine how cool it would be to see Oldman reprise the character (which has, actually, been a prominent presence in Marvel comics) in a future superhero movie, which is why I believe either Kevin Feige should buck up and make it a reality.
What do you think? Would Gary Oldman sinking his teeth into his most sinister role once again be the ultimate way to finally bring him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or do you believe that Warner Bros. actually missed any opportunity by not asking him to be their Jim Gordon again for the DCEU? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on the highly acclaimed and widely beloved chameleonic actor, as well as even more hypothetical comic book movie casting calls, here on CinemaBlend.